Ethiopian army detains 835 rebel troops

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Ethiopian army has detained 835 armed members of the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in a massive campaign it carried out in western part of the country.

The arrest comes after armed OLF troops robbed 18 private and government banks and took control of government offices.

The Ethiopian Defense Force early this week said it was disarming troops of rebel wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) otherwise called ‘Shene’ in the country’s Oromia regional state, western Ethiopia.

Well-armed OLF fighters led by Dawud Ibsa were roaming in western part of the country, creating violence mainly in Wellega and surrounding areas of Oromia region.

In August last year, the Government of Ethiopia and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) signed a reconciliation accord in Eritrean capital, agreeing to terminate hostilities between them and allowing OLF to conduct political activities in the country through peaceful means.

OLF, which was once dubbed as terrorist by the government, returned Ethiopia in September last year after a new administration led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lifted the ban for rebel groups and exiled politicians.

The central government has been accusing those OLF soldiers of killing innocent civilians, raping women and robbing banks. In its report last December, the Oromia regional state said OLF troops killed at least 41 people, including police officers and local officials in the western part of the region in four months.

In a statement it issued Thursday, the Command Post said most public and private institutions that ceased rendering service due to security concern have now begun services as business activities have also returned back to normalcy.

It said the active participation of the residents is increasing from day to day in exposing anti-peace forces and providing tip information to government bodies and to the Command Post in the efforts to recover looted properties.

Hence, the Command Post recovered 4 Bern machine guns, 61 Kalashnikov guns, 105 old-fashioned weapons, 8 pistols, different types of bullets, 9 Isuzu trucks, 2 ambulances, 5 minibus, 26 motorbikes, computer, mobile phones, Sim cards and printer, among others.

The Command Post also rejected allegation of conducting airstrike in the area. “These posts are intended to deceive the people,” it said

The command post said it will soon disclose the amount of money taken and who were the mastermind behind the robbery.


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