In what appears to be a rather unusual claim, Oromo Federalist Congress alleges that the government is arming Fano with the intention to use it to launch attacks against the “Oromo Liberation Army.”
Addis Maleda published the story, citing Tiruneh Gemta, a senior leader of the Merera Gudina-led Oromo Federalist Congress Party, on Tuesday. Mr. Tiruneh discussed this during an interview with BBC Oromo language services this week.
He implicates both the Oromia regional government and the federal government in the act of “arming Fano.” According to him, both levels of government have exploited the crisis and the killings of innocent civilians over the past five years in the Oromia region, particularly in the Wollega area, to tarnish the image of the Oromo Liberation Army (referred to by the government as OLF-Shane) and to equip Fano.
This is why, he further claims, the government has never issued a statement condemning the killings of innocent civilians in the Oromo region.
A recent BBC report stated that “Fano” forces executed “31 people in September after forcing them off a vehicle they were traveling on near Gida Ayana district in East Wollega.”
The Oromo Federalist Congress asserts that these groups, making reference to Fano, operate freely in the Oromia region of Ethiopia with the intention of tarnishing the image of the “Oromo Liberation Army.” The party has been critical of the federal government but not of the OLF Shane (referred to as the Oromo Liberation Army) for the crisis in the Oromia region, where tens of thousands of ethnic Amhara civilians were massacred over the past five years.
Fano, which comprises voluntary forces from the Amhara region of Ethiopia, is engaged in armed resistance against federal government forces deployed in the region with the mission of disarmament. Fano fought alongside the Ethiopian Defense Force during the two-year war between Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ended in November 2022 following a peace agreement.
In his New Year message for the Ethiopian New Year this September, Shimeles Abdissa, President of the Oromia regional state, stated that there would be no sounds of gunfire in the region, as the demands of armed groups would be peacefully resolved.
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