April 16, 2024

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Ethiopian Military Alamata

Wellega Oromia: Ethiopian Military Launches New Operation

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Ethiopian military is conducting an operation in Wellega Oromia. The operation, though launched last year, has gained pace in recent weeks.

Wellega, western Oromia, is a heavily weaponized zone where several armed actors are operating. The zone has been scene of several ethnic massacres. Large scale displacement of Wellega resident has also been witnessed in recent years. Most of the displaced people are ethnic Amhara who have been fleeing into neighboring Amhara region. This year the Ethiopian federal government and Oromia regional government, in co ordination with Amhara regional government, launched a campaign to bring IDPs back from Amhara to Oromia.

In Wellega, local Amhara population started arming itself in recent years. The Amhara people, who have been victims of ethnic massacres in this zone, have organized themselves on village level. Oromo Liberation Army OLA, an armed group fighting against govt forces for years, has widespread presence in all parts of Wellega. Ethiopian Military, Oromia Forces and Militias are also operating here.

Since last year, government security forces have been trying to disarm local Amhara population. This disarmament campaign met with stiff resistance from Amhara population, leading to clashes between local Amhara armed population and security forces. Reportedly, this month, Ethiopian military disarmed Amhara people in Gida Ayana East Wellega. And government security forces are planning to launch similar operations in Horogudurru Wellega zone too. Jardega Jarte and other districts are going to be the center of this disarmament campaign in coming days. The move is set to create tensions between Ethiopian security forces and local Amhara people.

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