Thirty Ethiopian police officers have been killed in recent clashes, said the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on Tuesday.According to the UNOCHA, the police officers were killed last month in violent confrontation between the Afar regional state’s police force backed by the Ethiopia Federal Police Commission officers and ethnic Somali militias.
Also, 40 security troops were injured, with any possible casualties on the ethnic Somali militias side unknown, said the UN agency.
The violent clashes broke out last month over the disputed ownership of three localities in Afar, mostly populated by ethnic Somalis. The neighboring Somali regional state rejects a 2014 agreement that put the administration of the three localities under Afar and claims the three ethnic Somali-dominated localities.
The three localities bear outsized economic importance as they are located along the highway connecting landlocked Ethiopia to ports in neighboring Djibouti.