By Staff Reporter
March 18, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Ethiopian ruling party has accused the Oromia Liberation Front (OLF) led by Daud Ibssa of supporting OLF-Shene which is engaged in guerrilla fighting in western Ethiopia.
OLF on its part denies the allegations and, rather, blamed the ruling prosperity party for engaging in mass detention and harassment against its members and supporters as the 6th national elections approach.
Chairman of OLF Daud Ibssa told the VOA Amharic service that the ruling party is creating hurdles for opposition political parties including OLF to mobilize supporters, gather signatories and holding meetings.
Dawd mentioned the recent apprehension of OLF central committee member Hunde Derara as a case in point while he was coming from Bale zone of Oromia region to Addis Ababa after gathering signatures of new members.
He said the activities of opposition political parties in connection with the forthcoming elections have been barred as the security forces of the government continue to harass their members and supporters.
He said his party and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) have filed complaints to NEBE that the government security forces have suspended their activities.
Public and International Relations Head of the prosperity party with the rank of minister Awelu Abdi said the government has detained members of the rebel OLF which is engaged in guerrilla fighting in western Ethiopia but he claimed the same people were found to be members of the legally operating OLF.
Awelu rubbished OLF’s accusations as baseless and blamed the OLF members for attacking government officials and institutions as well as creating violence in Oromia region.
The head said members of the legally registered OLF were also arrested while providing protection and support to members the rebel "OLF Shene.”
According to Awelu, those OLF members who are facing justice have been charged with serious crimes including smuggling of firearms, money laundering, recruiting young people for violence, killings, and destruction of properties. “They use IDs of political membership as a cover,” he added.
OLF claimed it does not have links with the rebel OLF Shene. Awelu, however, said what is happening on the ground disproves the OLF’s claim.
He said the armed OLF Shene has had contacts and receiving support from OLF and its members living abroad.
Awelu said the government is committed to conduct free and fair elections and no political parties or their members were accused or detained due to their differed political ideologies.
Dawd denied the PP’s allegations. He said the prosperity party is repeating the same harassment against members of competing political parties as were committed by the former EPRDF and the military government.
It is to be recalled that the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) last month accused the Oromia security forces of detaining over 5,000 of their members and shutting down offices in Oromia region.
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