Oromo Liberation Front accuse gov’t of “assassination attempt” of leaders

Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) claims “unprecedented” human rights violation in the history of Ethiopia. It also accuses gov’t of attempt to assassinate OLF leaders.

borkena
March 4, 2020

Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an extremist ethnic nationalist organization, accuses the Ethiopian government of “assassinations attempts”,harassment and arbitrary arrest of the organizations’ leaders.

The organization had a press statement on Wednesday in the capital Addis Ababa. It claims that an assassination attempt was made on OLF leaders this past Saturday, according to Voice of America Amharic Service reported on Wednesday.

What exactly is the assassination attempt?

Michael Horren, an executive member of OLF, said Federal, Oromia, and Addis Ababa Police Kore area of Addis Ababa on Saturday 6 a.m. and surrounded our house, broke into it, and they “handcuffed us and took us to police station.”

Dr. Shigute Geleta is an advisor to the OLF and claims that he was in the same house on February 29, 2020, when armed security forces broke into, as he puts it, the residences of OLF leaders.

Based on the VOA report, the leaders lived in the same house near the Kore area of Addis Ababa.

Human rights violations are committed against OLF leaders and members who were at the scene the security forces entered forcefully, he said.

He said that it is wrong for the government to send security forces to OLF leaders’ residences. “Government could have phoned us and told us to report to security forces, and we could have done that,” he said.

He spoke with a tone that the government is wrong to send security forces to arrest and search OLF leadership residence.

Security forces have allegedly taken computers, documents, and cash during the search, and the items are not returned, they claim.

Amnesty International released a press statement on Tuesday calling for accountability over “missing Oromo opposition leader.” The reference is to Abdi Regassa, “a senior member of the opposition political party Oromo Liberation Front (OLF),” is missing since February 29.

The human rights organization claims that his whereabouts are unknown.

But Oromo regional state authorities seem to know where he is. Getachew Balcha, the region’s spokesperson, said that he does not have information about assassination attempts on OLF leaders. Be he said that Abdi Regassa is in detention under Oromia Police Commission.

OLF, an armed ethnic Oromo nationalist opposition group, was allowed to enter the country in 2018 after Abiy Ahmed became the prime minister of Ethiopia.

In the months following their entry to Ethiopia, there was a dispute between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and OLF as the latter defied a government order to disarm former combatants.  Abiy Ahmed’s gov’t went about it through the mediation of traditional Oromo elders (Aba Geda).

Sometime in  2029, OLF declared that it no longer has any armed groups in the country, and advised the government to take measures to ensure the rule of law in the country.

Meanwhile, a militant group that claims to be OLF ( OLF Shane) continued military operations in Wellega and Guji area of the region.  The group’s armed operation in the western part of the region came to a point where the government can not provide services as several top officials were assassinated, banks robbed, and civilians abducted, among other things.

General Berhanu Jula, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defense force, said last week that the government is taking action against those armed groups in the region and that their number is now weakened.

Now Oromo Liberation Front, legally registered with the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), accuses the government of undertaking unprecedented human rights violations in the Wollega region of Ethiopia where the armed groups are operating.

Among other things, 17 girls from Dembi Dollo University were abducted by the same group, according to Oromo regional State authorities, and their whereabouts are still unknown more than 90 days after it occurred.



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