Region Blames OLF-Shene, TPLF for Deadly Attack in West Wollega

ADDIS ABEBA – Oromia Regional State has said it would take actions against Oromo Liberation Front-Shene group (OLF-Shene) after a deadly attack on civilians in West Wollega Zone.

An undisclosed number of people died after the armed group carried out an attack on a gathering on Sunday night.

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Authorities in the region confirmed the killing of civilians in Guliso Wereda, Gawwa Qanqa kebele, on Sunday without stating the number of deaths.

In a statement issued on Monday, they claimed that the civilians were massacred “in one place” and blamed rebel group, OLF-Shene, for the attack.

The group has collaborated with Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to carry out the ethnic-centered attack with an ambition to trigger ethnic conflict, the statement alleged.

OLF-Shene broke off from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an opposition party that spent years in exile but was allowed to return to their country after Abiy Ahmed took prime minister office in 2018.

Officials of the region have vowed to hunt the OLF-Shene rebel group jointly with security forces and take action accordingly.

On the same day, Prime Minister Abiy expressed his “condolences to the families of all victims of violence”, and confirmed security forces have been deployed in the area where attack took place.

The latest incident is likely to further ramp up pressure on Abiy, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, to improve security in the country struggling with ethnic violence.

The Amhara Prosperity Party has called for the National Security Council to consider the targeted attack against the Amhara community as a “threat to national security”.

Sunday’s attack came 10 days after unidentified armed groups reportedly killed at least 12, injured five and displaced hundreds of civilians in Gura Ferda woreda, Bench Sheko zone, of SNNP region.

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