Armed men kill at least 16 people in Ethiopia

Heavily armed men wearing Ethiopian military uniform, kill at least 16 people over the weekend in Kemise, Majete and Ataye areas of North Shoa in Amhara Region of Ethiopia and burned churches and damaged properties.

Media including BBC Amharic language service, which quoted local officials indicated that 16 people are killed by the group armed with heavy machines guns and snippers. While Mr. Kassahun, Embyale, North Shoa administrator and security head said that the armed people are the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Meanwhile, the federal government national security council today issued a statement indicating that the federal army is ordered to move into the conflict area and restore peace. The council, which didn’t mention by name who committed the crime, has ordered the military to take legal and proportional measures against the group, which it labeled as, the forces of destruction.

The federal government has also sent another civilian team, which includes Nigussu Tilahun, Press Secretary of the Prime Minister Office to the area to investigate what happened and who did it and who is behind the criminals.

A few weeks ago, the OLF led by Dawud Ibsa, has issued a statement indicating that the political leadership has split from the armed group of the rebel group as a result of disagreement. ‘The OLF fighters were based in Eritrea for many years.

The OLF like other rebel groups and opposition leaders in the diaspora, have decided to end arm struggle after convinced by the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is also from Oromo ethnic group.

Meanwhile after coming back home deciding to disarm its fighters, Dawud Ibsa’s OLF has been in controversy with the government over the past months. As a result, in some parts of the country like Wellega western Ethiopia, its fighters were reportedly engaged in clashes with the administrations and involved in training fighters.

But recently, Oromo elders and traditional leaders such as Abba Geda’s have managed to restore peace with the government convincing the OLF to fully disarm its fighters.

After the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) lost its 27 years’ dominance over the ruling coalition a year ago when the reformist Prime Minister Abiy came to power, Ethiopia has witnessed displacement of millions of people as a result of ethnic conflicts.

Temesgen Tiruneh, Security advisor to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, recently told the Voice of America Amharic language service that Ethiopia’s ethnic politics currently poses major security threat.