(Bloomberg) -- As a two-year civil war in Ethiopia winds down following the signing of a peace deal between the government and rebels from the northern Tigray region, fresh conflict is flaring in the center of the country.
Widespread fighting in the Oromia region has drawn in the security forces, the Oromo Liberation Army, a militia group from the northern Amhara region and civilians, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. Hundreds of people have died, an estimated 100,000 others have been displaced and damage to property has been widespread, it said in a statement.
“These armed groups and the government’s security forces have engaged in separate attacks, resulting in the deaths, injuries, displacements, and destruction of many civilians, as well as the complete or partial destruction of several villages and rural towns,” it said.
The violence is the latest blow to the reputation of a nation that was once considered one of Africa’s top investment destinations, and will set back efforts to rebuild in the wake of the civil war, which has claimed thousands of lives and caused massive destruction.
Read more: The Two-Year Conflict That’s Torn Ethiopia Apart: QuickTake
Selamawit Kassa, a government spokeswoman, didn’t answer message requests for comment.
The Oromo Liberation Army, which has aligned itself to the Tigrayan rebels and has been campaigning for greater regional autonomy has clashed with the government in the past and accused the federal police of targeting and killing ethnic Oromos and Nuers. The government has in turn accused the group of killing hundreds of civilians.
The conflict in Oromia sends out the message that “Ethiopia’s political and economic challenges do not begin and end with Tigray,” said Connor Vasey, an associate at Eurasia Group. It also shows “that disharmony among Ethiopian elites is not cosmetic — it has dramatic and tangible consequences, and that political reforms and economic reforms are on two very different tracks.”
The peace deal in the north of the country does largely appear to be holding however. Electricity and telephone services have been restored in Tigray, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corp. cited the Ethiopian Electric Power as saying.
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