(OLF-OLA High Command Press Release)
Having failed to retake areas liberated by the Oromo Liberation Army in western Oromia, the ruling regime has redeployed Eritrean troops into West Welega, Kelem Welega, and areas in the neighboring Benishangul-Gumuz state. Currently, Oromia state forces and members of the Eritrean Defence Force comprise the majority of regime-affiliated troops in western Oromia. The federal military has resigned itself to a supportive role by undertaking aerial attacks using drone strikes and helicopter gunships. These aerial attacks have led to a high civilian death toll as they are used on highly populated targets within towns and villages.
It should be remembered that Eritrean soldiers were first deployed into Oromia in April of 2021 before being withdrawn later that year due to international scrutiny. During that time, they committed several extrajudicial killings of civilians, the most heinous being the massacre of 7 farmers in the Sayo Nole district of West Wallaga on May 3rd, 2021. Outside of Oromia, the conduct of Eritrean forces has received widespread attention due to the countless atrocities they committed in Tigray. The Abiy regime has invited these forces into Oromia with the calculation that the international community will continue to turn a blind eye on his actions within Oromia and the broader south of the country.
We call upon the global community to turn their eyes to the brutal means that this regime is employing in the south of the country in order to preserve its illegitimate rule. As we have stated before, the OLA will take all legitimate measures necessary to ensure the safety of civilians of all nations and nationalities that reside in Oromia.
Victory to the Oromo and Oppressed people!
OLF-OLA High Command
January 14th, 2022