Oromo Federalist Congress accuse government and FANO over operation against the militant OLF Shane
The Oromo Federalist Congress is (OFC) criticising the government’s military operations against militant Oromo rebel groups operating in the region for about four years now.
In a statement issued on Sunday, OFC described the military operation as “A campaign led by the principle of “drying the sea to catch fish”, a hidden agenda from the world view, is being carried out in various parts of Oromia and of the country.”
The militant group which the government calls OLF-Shane, but it calls itself as Oromo Liberation Army, has been targeting unarmed innocent civilians mostly in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. At times attempted military campaigns in the parts of Amhara and Benishangul Gumuz regions.
The OFC Congress claims that the government has been targeting civilians in its operation against the OLF-Shane. However, it seems to be a claim that human rights organisations operating in Ethiopia are not supporting.
The OFC is blaming the government for carrying air strikes in the areas where the OLF-Shane group operates.
It said, “More recently, drone and helicopter strikes have been carried out by government forces in connection with this campaign. Mounting evidence from the victims suggest that it is leading to the loss of many civilian lives, the destruction of homes and property, and the displacement of survivors. This illustrates the level of violence carried out against civilians in the Oromia Region, in the name of rooting out the Shene group.”
Government authorities deny that the drone attacks were indiscriminate. They were targeted and carefully implemented, for the government.
The Oromo regional government itself is lately questioning again why the OFC starts crying whenever a military operation is launched against Shane.
In what appears to be a political twist to create a particular political image in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, the OFC has also made FANO – a volunteer group operating in the Amhara region of Ethiopia – part of the military campaign against the radical ethnic nationalist group – OLF-Shane.
OFC claimed that “In all, more than 278 civilians were massacred only in the last few days, April 16-29, in a joint operation by the government and the extremist Fano group in Oromia.”
Criticising the government for failing to protect civilians in its operation and making references to other security incidents with religious character including the one that unfolded last week in Gondar, the OFC demanded the government to resolve ongoing armed conflicts through peaceful means.
Last week, the government claimed that it has killed over 200 OLF-Shane fighters and captured hundreds more in the Melka Guba area of Guji – where the militant group had been operating freely for over four years now.
Some politicians, including from government authorities, blame OFC off vying for the creation of a transitional government like situation in Ethiopia where it is anticipating to have significant influence.
OFC is also criticized for not issuing a single statement when the OLF-Shane was slaughtering thousands of unarmed innocent civilians, mostly ethnic Amhara, in the Oromo, Amhara, and Benishangul Gumuz regions of Ethiopia.
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