Ethiopia: Oromo president warns OLF militia

ESAT News (October 30, 2018)

President of Ethiopia’s Oromo region warns rebel forces in the south and western regions of the country saying the government has a responsibility to protect the safety of citizens.

Lemma Megersa told local journalists today that elements who are armed and operating under the name of OLF should cease their destructive activities. He said the government has run out of patience and would not tolerate forces that undermine the country’s constitution and the security of citizens.

The Oromo Liberation Front meanwhile said in a statement today that the government had deployed its forces in the Oromo region and accused that the forces had carried out killings and looting.

On Friday, Ethiopian government forces clashed with combatants of the separatist OLF in Borena, Southern Ethiopia.

According to ESAT sources, at least five government forces were killed in the fight while about 30 OLF soldiers were injured. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, combatants were killed on the OLF side.

The OLF is one of the armed opposition fronts that has recently returned to Ethiopia from their base in Eritrea following a call by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who extended an olive branch to all opposition groups to come home and take part in a peaceful political process.

Despite a call by the government for all groups to lay down arms, the OLF remains armed, and in fact, it’s combatants have reportedly control some areas in south and western Ethiopia.

Megersa specifically called forces in West Oromo zone and Qellem Wollega to immediately cease their combat operations.

The OLF in response said use of force was not the solution. It accused the government of attacking its forces in Qellem Wollega and Guji zones.