The TPLF army continues to cause death and destruction in Oromia

The TPLF army continues to cause death and destruction in Oromia

A few weeks ago, a contingent of the TPLF military were deployed in Hawi Gudina District of West Hararge without the knowledge of the local administration or providing an explanation on the purpose of the deployment to any of the local authorities. Upon their arrival clashes erupted between the Oromo and Somali armed local militia along the border villages of the Hawi Gudina district. The newly deployed military then arrested several officials of the local administration and businessmen. They also forced the Oromia police contingent stationed there to leave the district. They then gathered Somali residents of Gadulo town ( district capital) and instructed them that they were in danger and forcefully placed them in a warehouse facility.

Two days ago, the newly deployed army members have left unannounced, leaving the Somali civilians in the warehouse where they instructed them to stay put. Elders of the area have stopped the military caravan and asked them why they were leaving the Somali civilians after isolating them from the local population and exposing them to danger. The military commander said that they had leave because ‘you president [Lemma Megersa] said so and the Somali civilians have refused to leave . The elders asked the commander if they could go to talk to the Somalis at the warehouse and support them. But he warned them not to dare get there.

This morning, Oromo pastoralists who gathered in the village of Buyi to collect food aid that was being distributed have suddenly came under attack from what they believed were are TPLF-military supported by the Liyu Police forces. They overran the place killing many people; the number of causality is yet to be known as the area is still inaccessible.

When the news of these attacks reached Gadulo town, where the Somali civilians were held in warehouse, a man whose brother was killed in Buyi while collecting food aid picked up his gun, and went to the warehouse. He first killed an elderly Oromo woman who tried to stop him on his way, and upon arriving at the warehouse he began to randomly fire on the defenseless Somali civilians, killing several people, the number is not clear yet.

The man was then immediately apprehended by the elders and by the time this information reached me, they were working on their way to hand him over to the authorities. The military has now returned to the districts and is preventing ambulances from passing to the district. Later in the evening over 80 houses were burned down in Tao and about 300 Oromos were taken hostage by a coordinated mission of the TPLF army and the Liyu police. We are hoping they are alive. We plead and pray for their release.

From all these, it is obvious that the TPLF military have planned and prepared the groundwork for this bloodshed. This is meant to justify the military’s intervention in the regional affairs and revive the fast collapsing grip of the TPLF on power.

Sadly innocent civilians are paying the ultimate price. The TPLF is playing with the souls of Oromo and Somali civilians to ensure its grip onto power. Killing of civilians by any force must be condemned in the strongest of terms possible. As TPLF has pulled its last card of instigating a civil war among different ethnic groups, authorities in all regional states’ in Ethiopia must beef of their internal security to protect all communities. Oromia regional government in particularly must step up protecting of the diverse communities under its jurisdiction. It must continue to set an example by investigating, apprehending and punishing any and all who are involved in instigating and attacking civilians of any background.


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