Melka Guba area area of East Guji zone, Oromo region, is said to be freed from Oromo Liberation Front -Shane rebel groups. Defense Force says peace restored in that part of Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Defense Force on Thursday said that it has cleared the Melka Guba area of the East Guji zone in the Oromo region of Ethiopia from OLF Shene rebel groups.
As many as 200 rebels are said to be killed and over 100 others wounded. 22 OLF Shane members are captured, according to the news update from the Defence Force.
It is said that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters were among those killed and captured in the operation. In December 2021, the OLF Shane and TPLF entered into a military alliance agreement.
East Guji was one of the areas where the radical ethnic Oromo militant group operated for about four years now. Reports from state-owned and other local media outlets indicate that the radical groups have been targeting government officials, who are not supporting their cause, and civilians. Hundreds have been killed.
Colonel Girma Ayele, the coordinator in the Southern Command of the Defence Force and leader of the operation in Melka Guba, is cited as saying the landscape in the area and flash floods from Dawa River were among the issues that were challenging in the operation.
He also said, as reported by Defense, that OLF Shane’s leadership was in the area and that the rebel group had an extended area under its control. Earlier this month, the ruling Prosperity Party deputy chairman, Farah Adem, said that the OLF-Shane is in control of seven districts in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.
“The motivation from the army was high to annihilate the OLF Shane which attempted to exploit the flash flood from Dawa River,” Colonel Girma Ayele said.
He also said that the operation, which lasted for three days, was meticulously executed and that there was no loss of life on the part of the Ethiopian Defence Force.
Colonel Girma said that the OLF Shane buried many in mass graves and that people in the region were longing for peace.
The OLF Shane group is also operating in other parts of the Oromo region – especially in the Wollega region where it killed thousands of ethnic Amhara civilians.
In recent weeks, it launched a renewed attack in the North Shoa area of the Amhara region. The operation was reversed after security forces and residents in the area were mobilised to reverse the attack.
Last year, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) under the leadership of Dawud declared that it does not have anything to do with OLF Shane – which now calls itself the Oromo Liberation Army.
A year after OLF entered the country from Eritrea with an invitation from Abiy Ahmed, Dawud Ibsa repudiated the call from the Federal government to disarm his forces and engage in peaceful struggle.
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