Addis Abeba – The Executive Committee of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) sets directions to intensify the “law enforcement measures” that are being conducted against armed groups in the country that are accused of carrying out attacks against civilians.
According to PP, the Executive Committee is currently holding its regular meeting to discuss national security issues and to deliberate on the ongoing “law enforcement measures” being carried out by federal and regional security forces.
On Tuesday 22 June, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President of the ruling Prosperity Party, said that the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) “has begun taking measures since yesterday” against armed groups accused of the killing over the weekend of more than 200 civilian members of mostly the Amhara community in West Wollaga zone, Oromia regional state, as well as other parts of the country. In a speech he made at the commencement of the Fourth Green Legacy program held at the Gullele Botanical Garden the Prime Minister called on a coordinated support from the leadership to the army in the latter’s effort to crackdown on “emissary” internal enemies who are “massacring innocent Ethiopians.”
The PP Executive Committee further set directions for the implementation of earlier decision by the National Security Council to carry out “law enforcement measures to eliminate terrorist groups.”
The meeting came in the backdrop of Ethiopia’s deadliest weeks in recent past. Last week, heavy gun-battle involving regional security forces and joint rebel forces of the Gambella Liberation Front (GLF) and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) on Thursday 16 June resulted in the death of dozens of civilians and security forces.
Similarly, hundreds of civilians are reported to have been killed on Saturday June 18 in Tole Kebele, Gimbi Woreda of west Wollega. The killing is blamed on OLA, an armed group referred by the government as “OLF/Shene” and designated by Ethiopia’s Parliament as a “terrorist organization.”
The group denies involvement and said “the killings and property destruction that occurred in Tole, Gimbi district were committed by the “Gaachana Sirna” militia created by the Oromia state itself.”
Yesterday, the US State Department issued statement denouncing the killing and said “national reconciliation must involve comprehensive, inclusive justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for human rights abuses and violations. Continued reports such as these underscore the urgency of ending the ongoing armed conflict in Ethiopia.” AS