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Government Will Disarm OLF if Necessary - Ethiopian Official

By Staff Reporter

OLF-should-disarmOctober 10, 2018 - Federal forces of Ethiopia will take all necessary measures to disarm the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) if the front fails to do so on its own, an Ethiopian senior official announced today.

In a briefing on Wednesday, State Minister of the Government Communication Affairs (GCOA), Kassahun Gofe, said the front had agreed to engage in peaceful struggle like other political parties during a series of meetings in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.

“In a sovereign  country, only the government is entitled to get armed. There is no peaceful struggle while the an opposition party is carrying weapons.” Kassahun said

The announcement came after the Chairman of OLF Dawud Ibsa told local media recently that the front did not enter into agreement with the Ethiopian government requiring it to disarm its fighters.

Reports reveal that armed OLF fighters are roaming in Oromia regional state and neighboring areas threatening peaceful activities.

About 1300 disarmed OLF fighters had crossed into Ethiopia on 4th of September this year, a day before OLF leaders, including Chairman of the front Dawud Ibsa, were accorded a warm welcome in Addis Ababa.

The minister said the government will disarm the OLF fighters if the front fails to do so in order to safeguard its citizens and protect constitutional order.

According to the minister, the idea of disarmament was not raised during the three-round negotiations.

Dawud in an interview with Walta Television however said "we should not be talking about one party disarming another” and “that is not right”

Kassahun said the issue of disarmament is not negotiable, it is a "red line."

The OLF has been accused by some of several deadly incidents that happened in different parts of the country. Recently, representative of the Benishangul-Gumuz regional state accused the organization of cross-border attacks that sent thousands fleeing their homes, and dozens of deaths.

The OLF was also accused of its members or supporters behind the attacks in Burayu town on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

The OLF was also implicated in the investigation of bomb blast that happened on June 23, 2018, during a political rally in support of prime minister Abiy Ahmed. Ethiopian police inverstigators said, the accused ring leaders of the attack were suporters of the OLF.

The OLF categorically denies all charges.



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