April 13, 2024

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News: Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) opposes military operation against OLA

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News: Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) has opposed the ongoing military operation against Oromo Liberation Army. The political party OFC is based in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. It boycotted last year’s general election as its main leaders were in prison. Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, and other main party leaders were released from prison at the start of this year.

Ethiopian federal and regional forces have launched a new military campaign against Oromo Liberation Army OLA. The armed group has been waging an armed struggle for years. Also called WBO in the Afaan Oromo language, it split from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in 2018 after that group signed a peace deal with the federal government to end the Oromo conflict. The OLA was formed primarily of armed members of the pre-peace deal OLF who chose to continue armed opposition to the government.  Last year the Ethiopian government designated Oromo Liberation Army and Tigray People’s Liberation Front as terrorist organizations. The Ethiopian government refuses to call the OLA by its chosen name, instead referring to it as Shene or OLF-Shene.

The statement by Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) was released after the party’s executive committee met today. It opposes the ongoing military operation against OLA saying that the government should get out of the cycle of “destroying Shene”. The problem is political and it should be resolved through talks, proposes OFC.

It has been a consistent position of OFC that OLA should be engaged politically and armed hostilities are counterproductive. Last month after the conclusion of its general assembly, OFC issued a similar statement urging the government to talk to Oromo Liberation Army OLA.

In the statement, OFC condemns alleged Amhara government-backed cross-border attacks into the Oromia region by Amhara militias. News of Oromo-Amahra border tensions has been in circulation in recent days. More than a week ago, dozens of Oromia security officials and some civilians were killed in clashes on the Amhara-Oromia border. Read more..

The statement addresses the rising cost of living as well. Rising prices of fertilizers, grains, and food items need to be controlled, says OFC.

What impact will this statement have on the ongoing operation against OLA? While the Ethiopian federal and Oromia regional governments are not willing to stop the military campaign, the statement is likely to lead to an increase in public support for the armed group OLA.