Umod Ujulu announced that it had full control of Gabella city after attempted take over by joint operation of two radical groups – OLF-Shane and Gambella Liberation Front (GLF)
The Gambella regional state on Tuesday said what the Ethiopian government calls “Shane” (The group calls itself as Oromo Liberation Army) and Gambella Liberation Front (GLF) opened a joint offensive in Gambella city.
Gambella Regional Gov’t Press Secretariat Office announced on its social media page that government forces and “enemy forces” have been exchanging fire since 6:30 a.m.
Residents were advised to remain calm and support security forces working to reverse the attack by what it called “anti-peace forces.”
The security incident came a day after the regional government security council passed a decision to undertake law enforcement operations in order to control what it called prevalent illegal activity in the region.
Calm was restored in the city after 10: 20 a.m
Later in the afternoon, the region’s communication office announced that security forces took strong measures against Oromo Liberation Front-Shane and Gambella Liberation Front forces.
The administration, however, unspecified the extent of damages ( loss of lives and property damage ) due to the coordinated attempt to take control of Gambella city – where the seat of the regional administration is located.
In a press conference with journalists, Umod Ujulu, president of the regional government, said the armed group sustained heavy casualties.
There were casualties on the part of government forces too but he described them as minor damages.
Government institutions in the city were not affected by the exchange of fire and the circulating news on social media that the rebel groups have controlled the region’s president’s office is false, it was said.
Residents in the city are advised to remain at home after 8 p.m.
The Ethiopian Federal government and the Oromo regional state have been claiming that the Oromo Liberation Front -Shane army is weakened than ever before and that it is not in a position to pose a security threat.
In a related development, OLF-Shane reportedly launched an attack in Ghimbi, Wollega, and Qelem districts. Voice of America service cited residents in those cities to report that there had been an exchange of fire between the rebel groups and government forces in the early morning.
The rebel’s attack in Dembi Dollo, which is in the Oromo region, was said to be a joint operation like the one reported in Gambella city. Relevant authorities in the Oromo region of Ethiopia reportedly said they do not have information about the incident in Wollega and Dembi Dollo, according to a report by VOA Amharic.
There had been similar and persistent security challenges in the Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia where thousands of innocent civilians had been killed since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018 and hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
His government has been claiming in recent weeks that strong and reliable security forces have been created due to the reform measures in the sector.
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