Oromo regional state of Ethiopia added 6000 police force to its security apparatus as trainees of Oromia Police College graduate ceremoniously yesterday.
President of the regional state, Lemma Megersa and his security chief, Kemal Gelchu, former military general who recently returned from Eritrea after years of exile, attended the ceremony.
“Although the guarantee for the relative peace that prevailed [ in the region] is the people, it can not go far unless it is supported by police and security forces,” Lemma told graduates during the ceremony. He called the graduates to work hard to shoulder that responsibility.
According to Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), the new police force will be deployed to different parts of the region right away.
Oromo Regional State of Ethiopia has been experiencing security challenges and unprecedented anarchy as the radical ethno-nationalist group, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), refused to disarm its fighters and challenged government structures in the western and southern parts of the regional states.
Reports that emerged last week say the Ethiopian government forces were fighting OLF militia in Dembi Dollo region in the western parts of the country. Authorities in the region denied military engagement between government and OLF forces as they rather put it as a development where by government is disarming OLF forces.
A stern warning was issued last week when Lemma Megersa had to call a press conference to let gunmen “operating in the name of OLF,” as he puts it, the government is running out of patience.
Clandestine ethnic Oromo youth organization, it is called Qeerroo, is also proving a challenge to government in the region and beyond sometimes. Residents of the city of Harar in Eastern Ethiopia were without drinking water for nearly a month after Qeerroo structure in the region shut it down demanding for a ransom of 10 million Ethiopian Birr. It was only this week that the residents finally got water.
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