Exchanges of fire involving small arms took place on 4 August in Jijiga, capital of Ethiopia’s Somali regional state, between regional and federal security forces. This followed the deployment of federal security forces on 3 August with the probable objective of arresting senior regional government officials.
The federal forces’ deployment came after Somali regional President Abdi Iley (Abdi Mohamed Omar) refused to comply with a summons to Addis Ababa to report to the federal government. Instead, President Iley ordered regional forces, including the Liyu paramilitary police, on to the streets of Jijiga. Riots broke out in Jijiga and three other towns in Somali region in response to the federal forces’ deployment, with widespread looting, including of banks and other businesses, and mob violence targeting ethnic non-Somalis and Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox churches.
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