Aba Torbe groups mostly operated in Oromo region of Ethiopia and are linked to Oromo Liberation Front armed groups
Ethiopian government says that it has captured about 15 suspects who are believed to be members of a clandestine assassin group operating under the name “Aba Torbe.”
State affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) cited Oromia Region Communications Affairs office to report that suspects who are captured today have been secretly watched by National Information and Intelligence Service.
The group members targeted civilians, government officials and law enforcement forces, according to Oromia Region Communications Affairs office.
Suspects were captured in Addis Ababa allegedly while on a mission to assassinate high ranking government officials, activists and prominent figures, claims government – as reported by FBC.
National Information and Intelligence Service (NIIS) is also cited as saying that it has recovered weapons ranging from handguns to bombs and other individual assault rifles.
Gaddisa Negasa Chala, Merga Tefera Bulchu and Anisa Getachew are some of the suspects currently in police custody. They are implicated in coordinating killings of civilians in Dembi Dollo, Nekemte and Northern Shoa – added the report by FBC.
Captured members of “Aba Torbe” are also linked to armed groups operating in Western Oromia region – where there was a reported fighting between Ethiopian Defense Force and the radical and militant Oromo ethno-nationalist group – Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
In a related development, Oromia regional state police commissioner, Alemayehu Ejigu, disclosed today that the number of civilians killed in the region in the past four months is 29 of which 12 are members of the region’s police force. 77 Oromia police members and 40 government armed militia are also wounded, he said.
In addition to plunders of private properties, regional police chief added that 2,072 AK47 were plundered from police in Qelem District and West Wollega, and over three million birr was robbed from government treasury. Also, government services in West and East Wollega including in zones like Qelem and Horo Guduru were shut as the armed groups were in control of these areas.
The police chief explicitly linked security problems in Western Oromo region of Ethiopia to Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) gunmen.
He admitted that appeasing approach to “resolve issues in a peaceful manner through dialogue ” bore no fruit, but a heavy price is paid. And he indicted OLF leaders for not implementing terms of agreement with government officials.
Pointing out that trust on police protection dwindled due to killings of civilians in the region, he sternly warns that the government will no longer tolerate anything that jeopardize the safety and security of citizens.
He also warns elements of police force who seem to have allegiance with the causes of radical etho-nationalist groups and fail to carry out their duties with loyalty.
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