By Abdi Biyenssa @ABiyenssa
Addis Abeba – In a statement released on Wednesday, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) said government forces have killed dozens of civilians in Warra Jarso district of North Shoa zone and Jaldu district of West Shoa zone in Oromia region.
According to the statement members of the National Defense Forces shot dead more than 20 civilians in Migiro Badesa and Gito Milki villages of Warra Jaarsoo district in North Shoa zone on 14 October, 2023 adding that a day later, on 15 October, more than 20 other civilians were also killed in Kibe village of Jaldu district in West Shoa zone.
Habtamu Gebeyo, a resident in Migiro Badesa village, of Warra Jarso district told Addis Standard that his father Gebeyo Gemechu was among those killed by government forces on the 14th of October at around 12 am. He also identified Damise Sagu, Shure Habtamu, and Irena Yaya to be among those killed that day.
“My father was a farmer, and he was killed in his farm amidst a fight between the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and the National Defense Forces. Three other people were killed at the scene where my father was killed,” Habtamu said.
Furthermore, he added that seven people, including two mothers and two children, were killed in his village. In the aftermath of his father’s death, Habtamu said government forces detained three of his relatives and a neighbor who picked up the body of his father in a neighboring Kuyu district.
OLF said “after failing to address the people’s political and economic demands, the incumbent administration, as part of its ‘drying the sea to eliminate the fish’ program, is enmasse executing unarmed civilians. The statement lists names of individuals killed both Jaldu and Warra Jarso villages.
The statement also mentioned that on 17 October 17, 2023, in Haqo Karra village of Adaba district in the West Arsi Zone of Southeast Oromia, Ethiopian defense forces set ablaze eight private houses and were mass arresting people.
Reports indicate escalating conflict between government forces and the OLA, often referred to as “Shane” by the government, in different parts of Oromia in recent days which resulted in numerous civilian deaths and displacements.
On 07 and 08 October, more than 12 individuals were reportedly killed in two separate drone attacks conducted by government forces in Hababo Guduru and Kombolcha districts of Horro Guduru Wollega Zone, following confrontations between a faction of the OLA and government forces.
In August, Addis Standard reported the killing of at least twelve civilians by government forces deployed to Chobi district of West Shoa zone, Oromia region. Some of the victims were shot dead while they were in their houses, while others were killed on the road on the morning of 10 August, 2023 in two villages namely Qoricha Koticha and Hofu Bake of the district. AS
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