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OLF, ODP step-up rhetoric

OLF, ODP step-up rhetoric

The two main contesting parties inthe Oromia Regional State:the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) are stepping up theirrhetoricas the later said it will work to ensure law and order prevail in West Oromia and the formercautioning that it amounts to “declaration of war.”

In a statement issued by ODP’s executive committee on December 21, 2018, the party said that the security situation in West Oromia is worsening withmovement of people affected and schools closed.The party further said that there was looting of government institutions, banks and similar public offices.

“Not only were those officials in West Oromia harassed and killed,” read the statement adding, “Groups with distractive intent are conspiring to turn Oromia region into a war zone. This is also a counter offence against the current cloud of change which our enemies are working to reverse.

The party stressed that the government has the responsibility to ensure rule of law and the government of the Oromia Regional State will hunt down those who break the law.

Furthermore, ODP also calls on the people of Oromia to be on its side in an effort to bring down those committing crimes.

Tothe contrary, OLF’s chairman DawdIbsa in a media brief on Friday said, “The statement by ODP amountsto declaration of war.”

In addition, OLFsaid it is not happy about the government’s intention to deploy the army to West Oromia.

In a statement issued on the same day ODP’s executives releasedtheirs, OLF said “it will use any means to protect itself and its people from what it saidis a campaign by the government.

It is to be recalled that OLF said it was dismayed with the latest deployment of government military forces to West Oromia where its armed forces is said to be active without the knowledge of the party and a joint forum it formed with the Government of Ethiopia.

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

Last week, the Front said that following the agreement reached between the government and OLF, the party has been willing to cooperate in many fronts with the new reformist administration of PM AbiyAmhed (PhD) and Lemma Megerssa, President of Oromia Regional State. However, “The government particularly the military is behaving and acting in a way that violates our agreements,” read the statement.

Mikael Boran, executive committee member of OLF, told The Reporter last weekthat “The deployment is totally unnecessary and we consider it to be a provocation.” “It has also created mistrust among the public”.

ODP’s statement, on the other hand, stressed that thus far, the party and the government has exercised restraint and patience in the interest of keeping internal unity in the region and not to create the fertile ground for divisive forces; nevertheless, this could not continue anymore, according to the statement. Furthermore, the statement asserts that the party (ODP) is “prepared to take the necessary measures to avert this danger”.  “This destruction and chaos if allowed to continue could lead to greater massacre and disintegration,” the statement reiterated, and called up on the people in the region to rally behind this peace and order restoration campaign.       

In related news, according to ToleraAdaba, Public Relation head of OLF, two members of the OLF;GedaOljers(PhD) and DandiGerboshe were reportedly arrested by the government. “The two individuals who had recently returned from Eritrea were arrestedfrom the OLF headquarter in Addis Ababa, Gullele, he said.