By Alemitu Homa @alemituhoma
Addis Abeba – Fentale woreda communication bureau reported that seven trucks allegedly carrying minerals from Tututi kebele were seized at a locality near camp Ilala. The bureau attributed what it called the ‘’illegal exploitation of minerals’’ to “extremists”, who were involved in the recent attack on local militia in the woreda.
The trucks were seized en route to the Afar region, the statement said, further explaining, “The exploitation of minerals is not only dominated and is becoming a source of income for these ‘extremists’, but it is making our militias and community pay unnecessary sacrifices.”
The statement did not disclose the type of minerals that were being illegally transported to the Afar region but vowed to continue fighting such illegal activities and called on the neighboring Boset Woreda for cooperation.
On the contrary, the administrator of the East Shewa zone Ababu told Addis Standard “ Illegal activities of extracting sand without licenses is a common criminal activity in the zone and it is not related to the recent [March 30] attack.” The administrator of Fentalle woreda, was not available for comments.
This comes two weeks after, clashes between armed groups from the Minjar Shenkora woreda of the North Shewa zone, Amhara regional state, and local militia in the bordering Fentalle woreda resulted in the death of at least 26 and the injury of several local militias and members of Oromia police, including the death of militia commander, Abdisa Ifa.
At the time, the two regions traded blame and issued contradicting statements on the matter. The Oromia regional government blamed the attacks on “extremist forces operating in Manjar Shenkor woreda”, whereas the Amhara regional government issued a statement warning against the dissemination of misinformation surrounding measures taken against what it called “anti-peace groups” without identifying either these ‘’anti-peace groups’’ or those it accused of misinformation. AS