By Staff Reporter
February 15, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) have accused the Oromia regional government of arresting hundreds of their members and supporters.
“More than 350 of our members and supporters have been detained,” an OLF executive member Michael Boren said in a briefing on Friday.
The mass arrest against our members and supporters continues in all Oromia zones but it is critical in towns surrounding Addis Ababa, Michael said.
OLF blamed the Oromia police for detaining its members and supporters.
Similarly, the OFC, the other Oromo political party claimed 27 of its members and supporters have been detained because of their political stand against the government.
Tituneh Gemta, OFC executive member said “23 of our members and 4 supporters were arrested in the southeast of Guji Oromia, west Oromia, Gimbi, Fiche, and Dugumissa towns. Seven of our members were arrested in Sebeta town, 20 km south of Addis Ababa.
Earlier this year, three Oromo political parties, the OLF, OFC, and ONP (Oromo National Party), vowed to work together and contest the upcoming elections, possibly in alliance with other regional parties. Jawar Mohammed, an influential Oromo activist, is now part of the OFC after joining its ranks in December 2019.
Oromia regional state spokesperson Getachew Balcha said no single person was detained because of his or her political outlook.
Meanwhile, the office of the federal attorney general said it has apprehended hundreds of people who were allegedly involved in the killing and wounding of innocent people in ethnic violence since late 2018.
The office in a statement said the suspects were apprehended largely from the Oromia region, in west Gujji, Adama city, east Shoa, Arsi, east Harargae, Bale, west Arsi, west Shoa and the surrounding areas of Addis Ababa.
The statement further said police also apprehended suspects of mass killings in Jigjiga town and surrounding zones of Somali regional state and Kamasha and Metekel zones of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state.
No confirmation has been made from any of the parties if the arrest against their members and supporters has anything to do with the violence that occurred in the stated regions of the country.
The allegations by the Oromo parties come as the country is preparing to hold the 6th national elections which are set to be conducted in August this year.
In a related development, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia has announced that August 29, 2020, will be the polling date for forthcoming elections. Last month, NEBE proposed August 16 as a tentative date for the elections.
The board made this announcement at a conference held on the forthcoming elections whose final results are scheduled to be announced between August 30 and September 8, 2020.
NEBE also unveiled its new logo during the same conference.
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