OLF Leader Daud Ibssa under House Arrest: Party Official

By Staff Reporter  

Daud-Ibssa-OLFJuly 26, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Police on Sunday surrounded the house of Daud Ibssa, the Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and they have denied him any movement, the party’s bureau head Geda Oljera has announced.

The federal police detained Daud Ibssa three weeks ago for alleged involvement in the recent violence but released the following day for no clear reason.

The Ethiopian government accused OLF of killing the popular Oromo singer that caused subsequent violence which left more than 200 people dead and hundreds of others wounded.

“I and my family members can not go out of home and if we do, the police will apprehend us,” the chairman was quoted as saying.

“Our chairman is put under the police control and he can not carry out his day to day activities,” Geda added.

The Ethiopian ruling party accused the OLF of supporting its rebel wing OLF-Shene which is engaged in guerrilla fighting in western Ethiopia and assassinating dozens of Oromo officials since

Daud denied the allegations and, rather, blamed the ruling prosperity party for engaging in mass detention and harassment against its members and supporters without concrete evidence.

The government has detained more than 7000 individuals on suspicion killing Hacalu Hundessa or instigating the subsequent violence including leaders of different political parties and executive committee members of OLF namely Michael Boren, Kenessa Ayana, Colonel Gemechu Ayana and the party’s advisor Dr. Shigut Geleta.

Even though the government blamed the insurgent Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) for the death of a popular singer, the OLA’s commander reportedly denied any responsibility and said the administration itself is culpable.

“Our struggle is to create a country where people can speak freely. We don’t kill people because they speak their mind,” Kumsa Diriba, commonly known as Jaal Maro, told VOA’s Horn of Africa service in a phone interview mid-last week.  

Hachalu Hundessa was fatally shot on June 29,2020, in a suburb of the capital, Addis Ababa. The 36-year-old activist singer’s music had served as a soundtrack to anti-government protests that helped bring Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to power in April 2018.

He belonged to Oromo Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which has pressed for self-rule of the country’s vast Oromia state and for establishing Afaan Oromo as the national language.

The Ethiopian attorney general held Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, both leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) accountable for alleged instigation of the latest violence.

Kedir Bulo, lawyer of Jawar and Bekel said his clients are kept in a dark room and cannot meet each other. Meanwhile, OFC Public Relations Head Dejene Tafa who was in custody for the same alleged offense reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Police also apprehended the prominent politician Lidetu Ayalew who is the leader of the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) for the same alleged offenses.

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