April 6, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has officially separated from the OLF leadership, according to statement from the group and as reported by the Ethiopian Reporter.
The OLF military wing, aslo known as Waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo (WBO), said it will no longer follow the the OLF leadership in Addis Ababa.
In a statement, the group said, “even if we had previously agreed to a ceasefire and settle our difference with the government, the government has continued to arrest our members and wage war on us.” The group added, “since the agreement in Asmara, Eritrea, we have been expressing our commitments for the implementation of the agreement. However, the government was not showing similar gestures.”
The OLF militias have been at the center of many controversies since the group came from Eritrea and other places as part of peace agreement with the Ethiopian government.
The OLF leadership headed by Dawud Ibsa has been under considerable pressure to tame the militia group or else face consequences for some time.
The OLF militia has been accused of cross-border raids, kidnappings and robberies in various parts of the region. The OLF refused to disarm for a while until earlier this in February 2019 when the OLF reversed course and said its members have laid down arms and were in training camp. At the time, media reports showed a few people seating on the ground and taking orientation. It is not known whether the militia fully disarmed at that time or this was some kind of publicity stunt.
The OLF was labeled as a terrorist organization by the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) until that designation was lifted in 2018, paving the way for the peace negotiations that followed.
In September 2018, the OLF leadership alongwith about 1,500 member militias was welcomed by regional and federal government officials and thousands of supporters in Addis Ababa.
Video report of this OLF story can be found here at Ezega Videos.