Security forces in Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state have killed large numbers of Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebel members, the Government Communications Service announced.
In a statement on Saturday, State Communications Minister Legesse Tulu said , said an anti-insurgency operation was underway to eliminate the OLA, which has been declared a terrorist group by the government.
Read:Ethiopia’s Oromo -Rebel leader predicts victory “very soon”
Many “members of the militant group were killed in the operation,” he said, without giving the exact number of casualties.
The minister said the military campaign is being carried out in the western and eastern parts of Welega, western and eastern Guji, north, east and west of Shoa and in the Borona zone bordering Kenya.
< p>An Oromo opposition official who spoke to The EastAfrican, confirmed gt that a military operation is underway in parts of the Oromia region.
“The Ethiopian army is about to conduct drone strikes to carry out targeted killings in many areas,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity .
“Yet several innocent civilians are also victims of the ongoing war.”
A few days ago, an Oromo opposition political party, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), said in a Declaration that a “secret war” was taking place in the Oromia region and many civilians were killed as a result.
The party called for an independent international investigation into the alleged “mass killings”.
The OFC said Ethiopian government security forces are conducting a campaign guided by the principle of ‘drying up the sea’ and will catch fish.”
“Killing civilians, burning houses, looting and destroying property; Detention and torture, sometimes killing, of parents for allegedly belonging to OLA has become commonplace,” read an OFC statement seen by The EastAfrican.
“Recently, drone and helicopter strikes have been carried out by government forces in connection with this campaign.”
The party added that “indiscriminate airstrikes” in recent days have resulted in the deaths of more than 30 civilians and serious damage to property resulted in damage and the displacement of a large population.
OFC claimed that since April 16, more than 280 civilians have been massacred as part of the ongoing joint military operation.
“The failure to Protecting innocent civilians is tantamount to system failure,” the party said, calling for an independent international investigation into the alleged mass killings.
The Ethiopian government has denied the allegations and has issued a statement t, the campaign aims to cause killings, displacement and destruction of property d by OLA.
A new report by UNOCHA says violence in western Oromia has displaced half a million civilians, with heightened hostilities have led to the closure of hundreds of schools and healthcare facilities
“In 2022, the partners face increasing security threats, including two shootings, various forms of harassment, temporary detention and the forcible confiscation of their vehicles,” OCHA said.< /p>