Terrorism & Insurgency

Ethiopian military airstrikes against alleged insurgent training camps indicate likely conflict intensification in western and southern Oromia

15 January 2019


Ethiopian military aircraft on 14 January attacked alleged “military training camps” in and near Qellem Wellega zone, Oromia region, according to credible local media reports citing military sources.

Specifically, these sources attributed the camps to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) faction that follows OLF chairman Dawud Ibsa, referred to as the Oromo Liberation Front – Shane Group (OLF-SG). On 21 December, Ibsa accused the Ethiopian government of failing to implement, as he claimed was agreed, the integration of OLA fighters into the security forces. The 14 January airstrikes followed the co-ordinated daytime armed robberies of 17 banks in western Oromia (particularly Qellem Wellega) on 12–13 January, blamed by the authorities on OLF fighters.

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