Hailemariam blames rent-seeking groups for recent clashes in Oromia state


Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the recent clashes between members of Oromia and Somali ethnic groups have nothing to do with border issue but were instigated by rent-seeking groups who want to take advantage of the conflict of the friendly peoples of the same nation.

The premier’s remark came while he gave responses to the issues raised by MPs based on the opening speech given by the head of state on the occasion of the reopening of the parliament after the summer recess a few weeks ago.

“The recent clashes between members of Oromia and Somali ethnic groups were caused by some forces which wanted to gain economic and political benefits through controlling the Chat trade route where millions of dollar is also smuggled.”

According to the premier, the government is working to dismantle the activities of the rent seeking groups along the borders referring the over two million dollar seized lately while being smuggled.

He said had not the national defense force been deployed in time, the conflict would have caused more loss of lives and properties.

The conflict has left hundreds of thousands of people displaced, the premier said, adding, the process of rehabilitating and relocating of them is well underway

He said the national defense force has won the admiration of the public in all corners of the country though anti peace elements continue to blemish its role and publicity.

The premier gave extensive explanation, among others, on the economic reasons of the recent devaluation of the Birr, the real reasons regarding the current instability in certain areas of the country and other burning issues of the period.

He also explained the reasons of the recent resignations of two of the most senior staff of the ruling party and said that no one should be surprised because it is one feature of a democratic process and more may come in the future.

The point is that the country’s trajectory towards fast development growth needs to continue overcoming whatever challenges it might face, he added.

Hailemariam also mentioned the dangers of increasing numbers of traffic accidents in the country and the dangers of the relapse of HIV and that the nation needs to take due caution in averting these dangers.