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News: OFC calls on gov, OLA forces to end war, negotiate; Amhara forces to cease incursion, attack inside Oromia

Addis Abeba – The executive committee of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) today issues a statement discussing the current state of affairs including the government’s renewed offensive against the Oromo Liberation Army(OLA) and the incursion of Amhara forces into the Oromia region. The statement also discussed the soaring inflation and urged the government to dispose of its responsibilities by containing the conflict that is disrupting the economy. 

As an outcome of an executive committee meeting of the OFC on  April 9, 2022 and  

regarding the current state of affairs, the executive committee has released a presser. The presser was inclusive of three major points: 

Firstly, the executive committee (EC)  discussed the ongoing war between the Ethiopian government and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The OFC urged the government to retract from its ‘eliminating shane’ (government’s term for OLA) rhetoric and replicate the same patterns for peace it has started in the northern civil war for the disputes within Oromia as well as saying that this new military campaign will only dampen the newly opened narrow window for peace and put Oromia and the entire country into a precarious situation. OFC also asked both parties to offer the necessary care for innocent human lives and property. 

Secondly, the EC discussed the increasingly worrying security situation between the neighboring Oromia and Amhara regional states. The OFC accused ‘’armed forces originating from the Amhara region’’ of having ‘’declared war and trespassed on recognized administrative boundaries of Oromia and proceeded to invade the land and expand their territory.’’ It indicated that  East Wallaga, Horro Guduru Wallaga, North Shewa, West Shewa, and its zones as per the information gathered from its members and locals within these areas East Wallaga, Horro Guduru Wallaga, North Shewa, West Shewa, and its zones were especially affected. It also further claimed that it has come across information that challenges the assertion that these forces operate outside of the auspices of the Amhara regional government, saying that it was ‘’Amhara special forces would appropriate 280 hectares of land from the Qenbibit wereda, north Shewa zone, whilst evicting farmers of Oromia’’. The EC also mentioned that Fentale wereda, which was the site of recent violence, has experienced such ‘encroachments from entities within the Amhara regional government’.  OFC went on to underline that such actions not only contradict the constitution but also generate scenarios for outright war between the two regions and emphasized an immediate stop to such affairs. 

Lastly, the Executive Committee discussed the escalating cost of living. In the discussion, it was stated that the prices of food grains, house rent, edible oil, commodities, fertilizers, cereals, etc. are hiking to the extent that people could no longer afford food, clothes, and shelter. The committee asserted that the main reason for the high cost of living was the fact that the country was in a state of civil war which, according to the statement,  has disrupted the peace and stability of the country and has slowed down domestic and foreign trade. It further went on to state that the civil war in the country has led to a reduction in the productivity of farmers and factories and foreign investment. It also stated diversion of the government’s development budget to war and the reduction of foreign aid and loans contributed to the country’s economic collapse.

OFC accused the government of evading its responsibility. It stated that while the aforementioned factors were the reasons for the current situation in the county, the government was fixated on pointing its fingers at the business community. It described that the government’s actions could temporarily divert people’s attention from it [government] for the time being but it would not help fix either the rapidly declining economy or reduce the cost of living. OFC underlined that the only solution was to stop the civil war, which, according to the statement, is turning the country upside down.
The statement concluded by reiterating the party’s beliefs that the only solution to the country’s insecurity and high cost of living is to end the ongoing civil war in various regions and resolve political differences through dialogue. It called upon the government and any armed forces to hold a forum aiming at fixing the economic crisis, helping the suffering people, and saving the country from dismantlement. Dispatch

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