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Three dead in renewed Ebonyi communal crisis

By Dennis Agbo
THE over 15 months unending Ezza/Ezillo communal war in Isihelu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state, weekend, claimed no fewer than three lives, when an Ezillo man allegedly went to remove the roof of a house where the Ezza people evacuated.

The latest attack, Vanguard learnt, was allegedly targeted at the Ezillo people, who claim they lost three men, one Ezillo man and two Ezzangbo men, who were guests of the Ezillo at the time of the attack.

According to the Ezillo people, the Ezzas have been on the prowl of the Ezillos, as they cashed on the roof losing to unleash more attacks on Ezillo people.

The Ezza on their part, insist that they were the target and victim of both the state government and the neighboring communities.

Though it was reported that a soldier was cut down in the cross fire, neither the police nor the army could confirm the story as at press time yesterday. An Ezillo, who claimed to be an eyewitness said that people from his village ran for their lives, as gun shots rented the war turn Ezza/Ezillo communities, particularly in the disputed area.

The situation brought transportation along the busy Enugu-Abakaliki road to a temporary halt, as soldiers blocked both ends of the disputed area. Commuters were stranded while some were force to abandon their trip

The Ezzas and the Ezillos have engaged each other in a war of supremacy since May 2008, with each side laying claim to a particular parcel of land. The Ebonyi state government in a white paper had asked the Ezza people to relocated completely to a new place at Eguecharra but the Ezzas’ have gone to court, challenging government position. They however, insist on returning to where some of them say they were born and brought up.

No fewer than 100 persons have died since the war broke out, while buildings and properties have been burnt or destroyed.

The Ezza people now live in different communities because of the war that started over a little disagreement on the erection of a commercial pay phone both in the local market. The Ezillos says they are no longer willing to cohabit with the Ezzas, who they have lived with for over 50 years.

The Ebonyi state Police Public Relation’s Officer, ASP Chris Anyanwu said the state police command was determined to bring the situation under control, but did not give the number of causalities. “The situation is under control. But on the issue of casualties, I can’t say for now because. I’m out of town but we are in charge of the situation”, said Anyanwu.


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