News came in the midst of contradictory reports from Afar and Somali activists on the essence of the conflict, regarding which the regional state of Afar has not yet released a statement. Both sides blame each other for the dispute, making it difficult to get confirmed facts. According to the Somali Region Communication Bureau more than 28 people were killed in a clash in the border between Afar and Somali regional States in this week.
Afar rights activists also blame the Issa, one of the key Somali sub-clans who rely on nomadic economy, for raiding Afar owned grazing lands and repeated attacks helped by Somali region special forces, allegations Somali region officials often deny.
After expressing condolences, the Communication Affairs Office of the Somali Region reported that such actions have repeatedly resulted in the loss of life and property harm, and that the regional state has been in touch with the federal government and has arranged urgent humanitarian assistance to those who have been injured in the conflict.
The Sitti zone is a flashpoint for frequent clashes between armed groups from both regional states. The clashes were especially violent following the agreement reached in 2014 to hand over three Kebelles formerly under the Somali regional state to the Afar regional state.
In an extraordinary meeting it held on May 03/2019, in Jigjiga district, the cabinet of Somali Regional State had unilaterally withdrew the agreement. The cabinet issued a statement that “the regional cabinet has unanimously accepted that the illegal agreement that has moved the three towns of Garba-Issa, Undufo and Adeytu to the Afar Regional State is an agreement that has no basis under the federal constitution.