Nineteen innocent people were killed in rebel attacks in Horo Guduru, west and east Wellega zones of Oromia Regional State in western Ethiopia, according to an official from Oromia Regional State.
“Members of the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) committed the brutal killings, massacring 13 ethnic Amharas in Horo Guduru’s Amru district and six ethnic Oromos in Nejo district over the past two days,” Getachew Balcha, the Region’s Communications Bureau Head said on Thursday in a briefing.
The rebel Oromo Liberation Army, which is believed to have few thousand fighters, broke off from the Oromo Liberation Front, an opposition party that spent years in exile but allowed to return to Ethiopia after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April 2018.
Since then it has been carrying out targeted attacks on Amhara civilians, with the intention to force them out of Oromia Region.
According to Getachew, after they arrived and controlled the Horo Guduru, the the Oromia security forces shot dead two individuals who were allegedly coordinated the attack and apprehended seven others including leadership members of the local administrations.
Getachew blamed the dying Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) for providing military training and artillery for the rebel force.
According to the communication Bureau head, the regional government has taken actions on 782 OLF guerrilla fighters over the past two years. More than 300 of them were killed in fighting with Oromia security forces, while the rest were brought to justice.
The spokesperson said the regional government has dismissed 808 security and administrative members of the regional government for alleged collaboration with OLF rebels, a claim dismissed by the Amhara Region authorities.