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Cablegate: Explosions in Jijiga (Ethiopia's Somali Region)

VZCZCXRO3517
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2477 2191408
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071408Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7353
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002477

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR: DS/IP/AF, AF/E, DS/DSS/ITA, CA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PINS PTER ET
SUBJECT: EXPLOSIONS IN JIJIGA (ETHIOPIA'S SOMALI REGION)


1. (U) On August 5, two explosions were reported in Jijiga, capital
of Ethiopia's Somali Region, at approximately 1230 p.m.: one at a
Protestant church and the other in the "Taiwan" market area.
Reported casualties are one killed, eleven injured.

2. (U) The following day, the Ogaden National Liberation Front
(ONLF) issued a press release condemning the bombings, denying
responsibility, and accusing the Government of Ethiopia of
responsibility for these incidents as a means to justify "war
crimes" against the Ogadeni people. Though it is widely speculated
by the public that the ONLF did indeed set the bombs give the
targets.

3. (U) Due to the non-permissive security environment throughout the
Ogaden region, post already has a policy restricting official and
personal travel by mission personnel to this region. Ethiopia's
consular information sheet also cautions American citizens not to
travel in this region due to a non-permissive security environment.


4. (SBU) COMMENT: It is difficult to determine who placed or is
responsible for these bombings. Jijiga has been the location of
previous grenade attacks recently, including an attack in late May
that wounded the Somali Region President (i.e., governor). In each
case, the GOE attributed the attack to the ONLF, while the ONLF
denied responsibility. Post will report further developments
if/when additional information is available. END COMMENT.

YAMAMOTO

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