Oromo Liberation Front attacked is said to be a more organized one armed with heavy weaponry, and has claimed lives in Ataye
The Ataye region of Ethiopia in Amhara region once again came under Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) military attack since Thursday of this week. It reportedly happened as the security arrangements in the region were withdrawn for deployment into other parts of the region.
Ataye, Efrata Gidim,Majete,Jille Timuga, and Oromo administration in the Amhara region are among targets of the latest radical Oromo military attack that transpired in the past two days.
Amhara Media Network reported about it on Friday, and the story was circulating on social media.
On Saturday, Amhara Mass Media Agency(AMMA), a state media in the Amhara region, confirmed the news from residents of Ataye town.
A resident told AMMA that there was gunfire since 10:00 P.M. local time on Thursday. At least three people are reported dead, but the government is yet to disclose an official figure.
Asked as to who the attackers are, a resident said anonymously “Who else it could be? It is ONEG [OLF].” Oromo Liberation Front had a history of military attempts in Ataye and other towns in the region. In October 2019, the organization attempted to take control of the city only to be crushed by Amhara special forces.
It was a non-stop gun fire. We hear grenades and heavy weapons including machine guns.
The security situation continued to be tense on Saturday – a day after the attack. Residents said that they were restricted to their homes and activity in the towns attacked by OLF seems to be paused.
North Shoa zone Peace and Security Department head, Abera Mekonen, claimed that an effort was made to stop the attack but OLF forces were using group weapons. He confirmed that the gunfire started on Thursday and that relevant Federal Security authorities are informed about the development. Mr. Abera said one
According to a resident who spoke to AMMA on condition of anonymity, Federal forces have started arriving in Ataye town. Federal forces were first overwhelmed by Organized Oromo Liberation Front fighters to the point that reinforcement had to be sent.
The Oromia regional state has been claiming that the Oromo Liberation Front’s capacity to disrupt the security situation in the region is weakened after military operation.
It has been customary for the authorities in Oromia regional state to claim arrests and elimination OLF fighters in the aftermath of massacres and security incidents. Today, the regional state claimed that it killed 21 OLF gunmen and arrested several others.
Oromo Liberation Front has opted out of the sixth general election which is scheduled to take place in early June of this year.
The intention of Oromo Liberation Front in launching the latest attack is unclear. Some activists who express their views on social media tend to see it as an effort to distract the attention of the Ethiopian Defense Force from the campaign against TPLF elements.
Given the history of OLF attempt to take control of Ataye town, which is along the Addis Ababa – Dessie road, and in light of radical Oromo territorial claims, it is possible that the latest attack could have other military and political motives.
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