Just a day after reports of a fresh massacre of civilians in Horo Guduru Wollega, the Ethiopian government is claiming that it has killed a rebel leader whom it identified as Jal Urji in the Wollega region of Ethiopia.
Government disclosed the information in what appears to be an explanation for the renewed radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group attack on civilians and militia in the area cited above.
The government has not disclosed the number of deaths or wounds from the latest attack. DW Amharic service cited residents from Kiramu district of Horo Guduru zone as saying the number of deaths has reached 15.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Government Communications Affairs Ministry linked the motive of the recent attack to the death of Jal Uri.
It also linked it to the upcoming Meskel celebration (a UNESCO-recognized Ethiopian Church open-air celebration) and Irreccha celebration (it is an ethnic Oromo traditional religion that is mainly celebrated near the lake in Bishoftu) celebration.
The government also made claims that community members are coordinating with security forces to clear “Shane” from the area.
The militant group has been actively engaged in massacring civilians, mostly in the Oromo region, by targeting ethnic Amhara civilian populations and in some instances Oromia regional state zone and district-level authorities. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the area in the past four or so years.
The Ethiopian parliament has designated the group as a terrorist organization, just like the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
In a recent press statement via Tigray TV, General Tadesse Worede – whom the TPLF spokesperson often refers to as a commander of the “Tigray Defense Force” – said that his organization is coordinating with rebels operating in the Oromo region.
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