Addis Abeba – Gambella regional state said on Thursday 14 July that it was reinforcing an earlier curfew imposed in the region due to “the current situation in Gambella city” and in order to “control illegal activities.”
According to Ugetu Ading, the head of the regional state government communications office, due to the recent “security disturbance in Gambella city”, a curfew was imposed by the president of the regional state. However, there was a gap in the implementation of the curfew which was imposed to ensure the “safety of the community.”
It comes a month after Gembella city was rocked by a daylong heavy fighting on 14 June involving federal government and regional forces on the one hand and joint forces of rebel groups belonging to the Gambella Liberation Army (GLA) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) on the other.
The regional state has imposed the curfew shortly after it declared “the city was partially liberated,” after “heavy battle” which resulted in causalities “on both sides”. However, a heavy crackdown in the wake of the announcement saw security forces executing civilians and conducting door-to-door searches and detentions of civilians accused of having alleged connections with the rebel groups.
The statement from yesterday said the region was reinforcing the earlier curfew imposed from 8:00 PM to 5:30 AM restricting the movement of people and vehicles and for it to be implemented effectively.
Accordingly, except for ambulances and vehicles belonging to security forces, the movement of people and other vehicles is allowed only from 5:30 am to 8:00 PM local time. Ugetu further said that there was “a peaceful situation” in Gambella city at the moment and that security forces at all levels were doing intensive protection works. He called on the community to “organize and provide information” to security forces in their efforts to protect the safety of Gambella city.
The curfew in Gambella state comes less than a week after Assosa City, the capital of Benishangul Gumuz regional state, was placed under “temporary curfew” effective as of Friday 08 July. AS