April 12, 2024

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Ethiopian PM vows to eliminate “Shane” after fresh civilian killings

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Ethiopian PM Abiy today vowed to wipe out Oromo Liberation Army ( called Shane by government) after another incident of civilian massacre in western Oromia.

In his message, Ethiopian PM blamed Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) for another massacre of civilians committed in Western Ethiopia. Reportedly dozens of innocent civilians were killed today in an attack in Lemlem kebele of Kellem Wellega. While exact number of casualties is unknown, locals are accusing Oromo Liberation Army of having carried out the horrific attack. Most of the killed are said to be from Amhara ethnic group but government has not shared numbers and details about ethnicity of victims.

Prime Minister Abiy, in his statement, accused “Shane” of having killed innocent civilians in Kellem Wellega.

Oromo Liberation Army, referred to as Shene, by Ethiopian government is based in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. For decades the group has been fighting against government forces. The group, led by Commander Kumsa Diriba Jal Marroo, has strongholds in western, southern and central Oromia. Last year, Ethiopian Federal government designated OLA and TPLF as terrorist organizations.

Ethiopia Jal Marroo
Jal Marroo commander Oromo Liberation Army

This is the 2nd attack being blamed on Oromo Liberation Army within the last two weeks. On June 18, hundreds of innocent civilians were killed in Tole kebele of West Wellega Oromia. Most of the killed people were members of ethnic Amhara community. Regional and Federal governments blamed OLA for the deadly attack. OLA denied the attack and blamed it on a government-backed militia called Gachana Sirna. The armed group called for internationally mandated inquiry into the incident.

“We will pursue this group to the end and eliminate it”, said the Prime Minister in his message of condolence today.

More than a month ago, Ethiopian federal and regional forces launched a military operation against the armed group in the Oromia region. At one time federal and regional officials claimed that OLA had been pushed out of all villages and towns in Oromia.

Today’s announcement of military action against Oromo Liberation Army is second one from the Prime Minister. After west Wellega incident as well, Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmad announced a military operation against the elements involved in the crime. Read more..