By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
August 1, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian government has dispatched an investigative team to probe the latest deadly tribal fighting in South Ethiopia near the border with Kenya.
Eighteen people were killed and scores injured after the Borana and Garri communities engaged in days of armed fighting around Ethiopia’s Moyale town last week.
The clashes have also forced more than 20,000 people to flee to neighboring Kenya, according to Red Cross in Nairobi.
The Ethiopia Ministry of Federal Affairs said the team will meet communities of both sides and officials in the area to gather information and investigate over the root causes of the violence in a bid to find lasting solutions.
Officials in Moyalye estimated 700 armed and trained members of the Garri ethnic group, were involved in the attack, dressed military garb. There is speculation that they recieved backing from the Somalia militant Islamists, Al Shabab.
Police claim to have made several culprits in the incident in which they lost several of their officers.
Ethiopian forces have taken control of the security situation in the area however Kenyan security forces are reportedly on high-alert along the common border in fear of a possible spilling over of the ethnic clashes onto the Kenyan side of the border.
The Garri and Borana communities reside on either side of Ethiopian and Kenyan borders and the two rival communities have a history of moving across the border to evade security forces.