CORRECTS NAME OF SPOKESWOMAN, NATURE OF GOVERNMENT ACTION IN OROMIA; REVISED HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE
By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Ethiopia's government on Wednesday confirmed it had launched a “stabilization campaign" in the Western Wollega zone, in the country’s western Oromia regional state.
Speaking to foreign media, government spokeswoman Belene Seyoum denied that the government had launched airstrikes against bases of the forces known as OLF-Shene, one of five offshoots of the Oromia Liberation Front.
“There are some elements that are not heeding the call for peace,” she said, adding there have been abuses of residents and robberies and beatings in areas where “the anti-peace” elements operate.
The OLF splinter group led by Dawud Ibssa, one of the five bearing the name, came back from Eritrea from where they had been fighting the government after a controversial deal struck in the capital Asmara last August.
The army wing of the OLF-Shene has been launching attacks against the government ever since in the Western Wollega zone in Oromia.
“The government is responsible for ensuring that there will not be obstacles to peace and security,” said Seyoum.
“In the Guji zone an OLF faction heeded the call of the government and laid down their arms,” she said, adding that the government is focusing on dialogue.