This week, the Ethiopian government shut down internet services in the eastern part of the country following violence in the region over the last several days. This is the first internet shut down since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office. According to VOA, fighting broke out in Jijiga, capital of Ethiopia’s Somali region last week following a rift between local authorities and the central Ethiopian government. Government forces engaged in fighting with local security forces over the weekend leaving an estimated 29 people dead so far. On Monday, the President of Ethiopia’s Somali region, Abdi Mohamoud Omar resigned from his position. The region has a history of violence with the Ogaden National Liberation Front fighting the Ethiopian government since 1984 in a bid for secession. More recently, violence on the border of the Somali and Oromia regions in 2017 displaced tens of thousands of people.
In other news, the Ethiopian government signed a peace deal with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) on Tuesday. The group was dropped from a list of banned terrorist organizations by parliament last month. The OLF has been fighting for self-determination for the Oromia region—home to the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group—since the 1970s. The deal was signed in Asmara, Eritrea where the OLF’s exiled leader, Dawud Ibsa lives. The agreement allows the group to undertake “political activity in Ethiopia through peaceful means.”