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Security concerns in Gambela region prompt removal of senior officials

The Gambela regional government has officially declared the dismissal of three heads of regional bureaus and one zonal administration leader (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Abeba – The Gambela regional government has announced the removal of numerous senior officials from their respective positions.

This decision has been justified by their purported inability to “adequately fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them by the government and party,” particularly amidst the region’s intensifying security turmoil.

As per an announcement issued by the Gambela regional government secretariat office, those relieved of their duties comprise three heads of regional bureaus and one zonal administration leader.

The regional officials subject to dismissal are Akwai Ubuti, who served as chief of the regional justice bureau; Chol Kun, who held the position of head of the peace and security administration bureau; and Bitew Dak, who held the title of director general of the Gambella rural roads authority.

Additionally, Bugne Nyel, who occupied the position of head of the Nuer Ethnic Zone Prosperity Party Office, has been relieved of his duties.

According to Gambela regional government secretariat office, these dismissals have been prompted by a series of security incidents in the Gambela region.

On March 29, 2024, the regional government issued a cautionary statement indicating its intention to undertake “decisive action” against any individuals endeavoring to seize power within the region through coercive means.

The administration attributed the escalation of ethnic conflicts, acts of terrorism, serious criminal activities, and illicit arms trafficking across various areas of the region since 2022 to leadership deficiencies, informal organizations, and unaccountable social media entities based abroad.

In a statement released yesterday, the regional administration reiterated its commitment, emphasizing that “the ongoing measures against government and party officials who have failed to fulfill their responsibilities as mandated by the state government and the party will persist.”

Addis Standard has consistently documented the violence and instability arising from numerous attacks carried out by armed groups.

This encompasses the latest occurrence, which took place two weeks ago, involving an armed assault on a bus traveling from Gambella city to Lare district in the Nuer Zone. This incident resulted in the loss of three lives and caused injuries to several others.

In May 2023, disturbances in Itang Special District and Gambella City resulted in nine fatalities and 17 injuries.

Furthermore, in July 2023, an armed attack on two public buses in the vicinity of Gambella City resulted in three fatalities and left 23 individuals wounded.

A recent report from the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) discloses that from May 2023 onwards, conflicts between communities and assaults on refugees within Ethiopia’s Gambella region have led to 138 fatalities and 113 injuries. AS

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