OLF has no military in Amhara region, says spokesperson

by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (April 9, 2019)

A spokesperson for the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), whose army was accused of recent killings in the Amhara region said the Front has no military presence in the region.

Spokesperson for the Front, Tolera Adeba told Deutsche Welle Amharic that the OLF has no military presence in Amhara towns where local authorities accused that soldiers of the Front killed more than a dozen people in Majete, Ataye and Kemise over the weekend.

Head of press secretariat at the Prime Minister’s Office, Nigussu Tilahun meanwhile told ESAT that calm has been restored and federal and regional forces were in control of the towns affected by the attack.

“Regional and federal forces have been instructed to take measures necessary to protect peace and security in the towns,” Nigussu Tilahun said in an interview with ESAT.

Tilahun said investigations were underway to determine the group responsible for the attack

Head of security for North Shewa administration, Kassahun Embiale however told the regional mass media agency on Sunday that soldiers of the OLF were responsible for the deadly attack, looting and kidnapping of women and children.

“Our work focuses on just politics. We have no military that is under our command anywhere in the Amhara region,” said the OLF spokesperson.

A resident from Majete town in the Amhara region told ESAT on Monday that they had buried 15 people killed over the weekend by armed groups claiming to be soldiers for the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Two of the deceased were members of the regional police force. Witnesses told local media that their bodies were disfigured by the alleged killers.

The OLF army said in a statement last week that it had broken up from the party and its leadership that is based in Addis Ababa.

The army accused the government of arresting its members and failing to uphold the agreement reached in Asmara in August 2018.

The OLF, previously designated as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian parliament, returned to Ethiopia from its base in neighboring Eritrea in September 2018 following a peace deal with the government. But it has since been accused of deadly attacks and bank robberies among other crimes especially in the western and southern parts of the country.