Some 70,000 people have fled their homes in a remote part of southern Ethiopia, after a deadly conflict broke out between rival groups – apparently triggered by the construction of a new borehole.
[The conflict arose when the Oromo regional government built a] water scheme [...] close to the dividing line between two of Ethiopia’s ethnically-based regional states – Oromia and Somali regions – a boundary which has never been properly demarcated. The Oromo regional government thought it was drilling the borehole on its own territory; people in Somali region thought it was on their side of the boundary. When Somalis destroyed the rig, the Borana [from Oromia] mobilised to take revenge, angry at what they saw as years of Somali encroachment. [...] More than 300 people are thought to have died [as a result of teh fighting]
[Although] the fighting seems to have stopped [now] there are reports that both Borana and Somalis have been stockpiling weapons.
Source: Elizabeth Blunt, BBC News, 13 Mar 2009