June 21, 2019
Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), one of the biggest ethnic-Oromo nationalist parties accuse the government of closing down a branch office of the party in Guji zone of Oromo region, in Southern Ethiopia, VOA Amharic service reported on Friday.
The party also accused the government that it is harassing party members in the region.
Government authorities did not deny those offices are closed down in the region but it argues that the offices were closed on grounds that they were not operating in accordance with the law.
OFC office head, Tiruneh Gemta, says west Guji Zone members and their leaders are harassed. And he cites examples, in Gelana district Jateni Mitiku who is a member of the leadership in the zone has been in jail for two weeks.
In the same zone Liben district, head of administration of the district removed and tore apart our flag about two months ago. On Wednesday of this week, district authority burned our flag. They also removed two members of our party, Girja Guyo, and Samuel Mijo, from their office around 3 p.m., beaten them and detained them for hours and release them around 9 pm.
District administrator, Mathewos Otessa, denies the allegation. He told VOA Amharic that the party did not present permission to open a branch office in the district. He also claims that members were involved in illegal activity. Members of the party put OFC flag in the street without permission and members of the defense force in the region removed the flag, Mathewos Otessa added.
“We were not told as to who is the coordinator,” he told VOA Amharic reporter, Muktar Jemal.
Guji has been a conflict zone and over a million ethnic Gedeos were displaced from the region following an ethnic-based attack.
This week, government-affiliated media reported that the government arrested hundreds of alleged members of the militant Oromo Liberation Front.
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