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News: OFC says gov’t use of “drone, helicopter strikes” in Oromia killing civilians

OFC leadership after the party’s second Congress. First three from Left: Merera Gudina, Chairman, Bekele Gerba, and Jawar Mohammed, both deputy chairmen and members of the Executive Committee. Photo: Ubuntu Media

OFC detailed the killings of civilians in various places and said “more than 278 civilians were massacred only in the last few days, April 16-29, in a joint operation by the government and the extremist Fano group in Oromia,” and called for “an international neutral inquiry into the massacre of civilians in various parts of Oromia.”

Addis Abeba – The opposition party, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), said in a statement Sunday 01 May that scores of civilians are killed by ongoing government military campaign in Oromia regional state. “Government security forces are conducting a campaign “to destroy” the Oromo Liberation Army, which they call “OLF Shene” “, OFC said in reference of recent announcement by the federal and Oromia regional state governments to conduct a final military operation to “eradicate” the armed rebel group in Oromia.

“drone and helicopter strikes have been carried out by government forces in connection with this campaign,”

OFC

“A campaign led by the principle of “drying the sea to catch fish”, a hidden agenda from the world view, is being carried out in various parts of Oromia and of the country” OFC said. It detailed that “killing civilians, burning homes, looting and destroying property; imprisoning and torturing, sometimes killing parents on alleged affiliation of their children with OLA has become commonplace,” particularly the four Wollaga zones, West Shewa, North Shewa and East Shewa, West Arsi, East Guji, West Guji, Borena Zones of Oromia and Oromo Nationality Zone in Amhara Region and Metekel Zone and its surroundings in Benishangul-Gumuz Region.

The party accused that more recently, “drone and helicopter strikes have been carried out by government forces in connection with this campaign,” and said “mounting evidence from the victims suggest that it is leading to the loss of many civilian lives, the destruction of homes and property, and the displacement of survivors. This illustrates the level of violence carried out against civilians in the Oromia Region, in the name of rooting out the Shene group.”

In addition to government forces, OFC also accused “the extremist Fano group in Oromia,” of killing civilians. “This group is becoming a threat to peace in the region and to neighboring states too. However, as the regional government is reluctant to take action, we call on the federal government to provide immediate and legal solutions,” the party said.

Among its seven points resolution is a repeat of the party’s earlier call for the federal government “to end the ongoing conflict with armed groups and to resolve the issue peacefully,” and for the government “to immediately call a ceasefire and enter into negotiations.” The party also called for “an international neutral inquiry into the massacre of civilians in various parts of Oromia.”

Click here to read the full statement

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