Militant Oromo nationalists still a challenge,top gov’t official killed

Militant Oromo Liberation front operating in Wollega has been targeting officials from Oromo regional state and Benishangul Gumuz region state

January 2, 2019

The security situation Oromo region of Ethiopia continues to be a nightmare for Ethiopian government, not just citizens. And behind it is a militant ethnic nationalist group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF -Shane) which is believed to clandestine connections with government officials in the regional governance structure.

Benishangul Gumuz Regional State Communications Affairs bureau disclosed on Thursday that gunmen killed the region’s economic sector standing committee chairperson, Abdulahi Sojar.

According to Mesele Beyene, who is Communications Affairs head of the region, he was killed while traveling from Assosa to Neqemte, a town in the western Oromo region of Ethiopia. He was traveling for unspecified government work.

The attack happened around 7: 30 a.m. local time in Bengua locality of West Wollega region.  He was apparently shot inside the car he was traveling in.

Two other people, a man, and a woman, unidentified by name were also attacked, according to a report by BBC Amharic service.  They were inside the same car along with the assassinated official and they are currently in hospital.

This is the second killing of Benishangul Gumuz region authorities in recent times. A senior police head was killed as he was heading to the Oromo region for a meeting.

Mesele Ayele said the road between the Benishangul Gumuz region and the Oromo region has become a challenge from a security point of view.

The Militant wing of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) which calls itself Shane is virtually operating freely in the Western Oromo region including Wollega, among other places.

In less than one year, the armed group has killed about eight government officials in the region.

The nationalist group that is considered to be the political wing of, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), has repeatedly distanced itself from the militant group saying that it does not have any armed group.

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