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The Abiy Regime’s Militia are Responsible for the Tole Massacre of West Wollega


(OLF-OLA Press Release)

The Oromo Liberation Front—Oromo Liberation Army (OLF-OLA) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the killing of civilians in Tole Village of Gimbi district in the West Wollega Zone of the Oromia region. Despite the genocidal regime’s malign misinformation and propaganda campaigns, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), as a political party and liberation army, was committed to its singular objective of emancipating the Oromo people from multilayered suffering under successive repressive regimes thereby ensuring sustainable stability in the Horn of Africa region.

The Oromo Liberation Front—Oromo Liberation Army (OLF-OLA) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the killing of civilians in Tole Village of Gimbi district in the West Wollega Zone of the Oromia region. Despite the genocidal regime’s malign misinformation and propaganda campaigns, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), as a political party and liberation army, was committed to its singular objective of emancipating the Oromo people from multilayered suffering under successive repressive regimes thereby ensuring sustainable stability in the Horn of Africa region.

It has now become obvious to any close observer that the Abiy regime uses the OLA as a scapegoat for any atrocity crimes it commits against civilians many of which have become undeniable against mounting evidence, and have consequently been conceded by the regime through the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reports. Often, the regime perpetrates premeditated and unprovoked attacks on civilians for the sole purpose of disparaging the OLA. If recent memory serves us well, the massacre of the our Karrayyu Gada elders, the truth of which escaped between the regimes’ fingers in a matter of weeks, was masterminded primarily to defame the OLA. The current massacre in Tole of West Oromia is no different. The regime organized a militia group called “Gachana Sirna” meaning “the guardians of the regime” that wear artificial wigs to impersonate members of the OLA and commit atrocity crimes in Oromia. While disparaging the OLA is the major goal across all crimes the regime commits in Oromia, the current attack in Tole has other specific objectives:

  1.  After the recent joint operations of the OLA and GLF in Gambella had been completed, the regime begun a killing spree targeting Oromo civilians across the city of Gambella in the usual retaliatory attack. Gambella Special Forces, Federal Police and associated régime security apparatus have been hunting down Oromo civilians and extra judicially executing them in broad day light. Social and conventional media abound by evidence of execution of Oromo civilians for in Gambella. Evidence that undeniably implicate the regime in the killings of civilians in Gimbi and many localities of central Oromia was also coming out in recent days. The regimes engineered the current massacre in Tole to cover the headlines regarding the Gambella and other Oromo Massacres. 
  2.  A horrific video in which members of the regime’s army and associated militia group massacred civilians in Wollo during the so called “Menelik Campaign” —very likely committed in late December of last year, has also circulated on social media since 17th of June. The crime was perpetrated by both the regular Ethiopian security forces and the Fanno militia and, at the time of the crime, the Fanno militia was under the regime’s army command. The Abiy government has to engineer the Tole massacre to change the headlines from the Wollo Oromo Massacre.
  3. There is international pressure on the regime to organize an inclusive peace process to resolve the Ethiopian civil war. Unlike Tigray, the Prosperity Party wants to be the only voice representing the Oromo people in any possible peace talks. To that end, the regime is attempting to denigrate the OLA to deny the Oromo Cause spearheaded by OLA any voice on the international stage, and any seat on the possible peaceful resolution of the Ethiopian civil war.

Independently verifying what happens in West Oromia by credible third persons is virtually impossible. The regime has blocked the region from the rest of the world, in an attempt to prevent the international community from finding out the atrocity crimes that it commits. It keeps the region in the dark precisely to conceal its crimes and, despite the deafening silence, many in the international community know it. As always, OLF-OLA calls for independent investigations into the alleged atrocity crimes committed in Tole areas in West Oromia.

As we have repeatedly indicated in our prior press releases, we reiterate our call for ANY credible independent investigation not only into the current allegations but also all previous ones so that perpetrators are held accountable, serve justice to the victims, and adequately compensate their families.

Stabilizing the Horn begins in Oromia!
Victory to the Oromo and all oppressed people!
OLF-OLA High Command
June 20, 2022

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