Ethiopia: Somali, Oromo….the turbulent politics around Dire Dawa

By Mistir Sew

Posted on Wednesday, 4 August 2021 07:36, updated on Monday, 15 November 2021 14:50
Women bring items to give to the youth joining the Defense Forces, at Meskel Square, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tuesday, July 27 2021. (AP Photo)

The diversity of the city on the fringes of Oromia and Somali regions is also a recipe for turbulent politics. Efrem Mulat describes 23 October 2019 as a "dark day" unlike any he had seen before. He was no stranger to protests and street violence - but he actually had not brushed with death.

This article is published in partnership with Ethiopia Insight.

“It was crazy,” he said. “You never knew if a bullet or a piece of rock would land on you.” His hometown Dire Dawa, often portrayed in popular culture as an embodiment of multicultural coexistence, witnessed multiple violent incidents in that year – many of which had ethnic and religious undertones.