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OLF denounces military deployment to WestOromia

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) said that it is dismayed with the latest deployment of government military forces to West Oromia where its armed force is said to be activewithout the knowledge of party and a joint forum it formed with the Government of Ethiopia, The Reporterhas learnt.

It is to be recalled that the federal government has begun to move its military forces from the northern part of Ethiopiaalong the Ethio-Eritrean boarderwhere they stationed for past decade and half.

In a statement issued by the Front, the partysaid that following the agreement reached between the government and itself,the long-time champion of the Oromo freedom has been willingly to cooperate in many fronts.However, “the government particularly the military is behaving and acting in a way that violates our agreements,” reads the statement.

The partyalso said that it will not be responsible for any possible damages which will emanate from such similar actions.Particularly, OLF accuses the government of not informing it while deploying its military to west Oromia.

“We have a joint-committee with the government to deal with similar issues and we were not informed when the military was deployed to areas where our soldiers are also active,” Mikael Boran, executive member of OLF told The Reporter.

The military was deployed to particularly the East and West of Wellega. 

“As the result of not being informed regarding the deployment, there were clashes between our soldiers and the military in Eastern Wellega,” he indicated.

He also said that “the deployment is totally unnecessary and we consider it to be s provocation.” “It has also created mistrust among the public,” said Mikael. 

It is to be recalled that, the OLF, in its earlier statement accused the federal as well as the Oromia regional government of failing to ensure the safety and security of the population in West Oromia Zone which was largely affected by the recent clashes.

“Even if the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) promised to bring changes, those people who are said to be the causes of all the problems are still at large and the ruling party is not doing enough to change that,” reads the statement issued by OLF a couple of weeks ago in connection to an earlier conflict.

The party also said that given the circumstances, it will use its natural right to defend itself from what it said is “ethnically induced attacks against the people of Oromia.”

This is not the first timeOLF opposed similar moves by the government. For instance, back in November, 2018, following a conflict in West Oromia, QellemWellega zone, the military was deployed to ease the tension.

Back then, according to reports from the government, forces that operate in the name of OLF were active in Western Oromia and are becoming a security threat.

In this regard, towns like DembiDollo witnessed clashes between government force and armed groups that operate in the area.

The government, according to Mikale, has deployed the military which he claims were moved from the Ethio-Eritrean boarder.

It is to be recalled that just one week ago,political parties mainly operating in Oromia region including OLF have agreed to establish a forum.

This comes after a meeting which was held between the heads of 14 political parties such as Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). It was also attended by significant political figures including Jawar Mohammed, CEO of Oromia Media Network.