News: Ethiopia Defense Force begins airstrike in western Oromia; says targets are OLF military training camps

Addis Abeba, January 13/2018 – Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has began airstrikes in Qellem Wellega and its environs in western Oromia, a military source told Addis Standard.  

According to our source, the army’s targets are “military training camps run by OLA”, the armed group of the Oromo Liberation Front – Shane Group (OLF-SG).

The airstrikes have began this morning; it is unclear how long the army will conduct the operation. It follows yesterday’s bank robbery of the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and the Cooperative Bank of Oromia.

Sources told Addis Standard that the heist was staged by armed men who identified themselves as members of the OLF. We learned that at least a dozen bank employees, including two bank managers, were taken hostage. Our attempts to verify the information with both banks were to no avail, as of yet.

Briefing local journalists on a range of issues on Friday, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defense Forces, General Berhanu Jula said that a grave damage was inflicted in western Oromia by OLF’s armed group in the past few months. But he said things were returning to normal after the intervention by federal forces.

On its turn, the OLF has been accusing the federal army of conducting illegal armed operations in areas where its forces were active.

Led by Dawud Ibssa, OLF-SG is one of the armed groups that agreed with the government of Abiy Ahmecd to return home and engage in peaceful struggles. However things went south between OLF and the government as both keep on accusing one another of violating the agreement for peace, which hasn’t been disclosed to the public in the first place. AS

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