Ethiopia lifts telecom service ban in Wollega area

The Oromia Region of Ethiopia today announced that it has lifted the bank in four zones of Western Wellega area of the region, the President of Oromai Region said.

Some of the zones in Western Wollega reported to be the stronghold of an armed rebel group, which recently announced splitting from the former Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The decision to lift the telecom service ban came after the Ethiopian army and Oromia Police have taken measures against the armed group, involved in killing civilians including Ethio Telecom employees in the area, according to Shimelis Abdisa, President of Oromia Region, who briefed reporters this morning.



The President stated that over the past few days he visited the Western and Eastern Wollega area and held public discussions, which has led to the decision of lifting the telecom service ban. Meanwhile, he warned political parties and activists who have been showing sympathy to the armed group. He stated that the people of Wollega and the rebel group are not the same. “…Supporting this group, supporting this destruction force has to stop,” he said.

Mr. Shimelis indicated that labeling the people in the area has to stop. He advised those who spread all sorts of rumors sitting somewhere else to go and visit the area “if they really care and love the people”. Mr. Shimelis urged political parties, media and activists involved in such activities to refrain from their activities. “From now onwards, Oromia Regional Government will not tolerate any labeling of the people of Wollega. We will take action against anyone involved in such activities,” Shimelis said.

Applauding the role of the people of Wollega in restoring peace in the area, Mr. Shimelis stated that development projects interrupted in the area will soon be reactivated, indicating that enormous sacrifices is made to bring peace in the area. He also indicated the situation in Guji area of Oromia Region is also improved though the armed group has caused huge damage in the area.