Eight hundred and thirty-five armed members of the Oromo Liberation Front, OLF, have been arrested by a Command Post in Ethiopia, the state-affiliated FBC reports.
Weapons and other logistics were seized in the raid that resulted in the arrest of the OLF members who are believed to be behind a spike in crime incidents in western Oromia.
A wide array of recoveries were also made from the detainees. Among others, Bern machine guns, Kalashnikov guns, old-fashioned weapons, pistols, an assortment of bullets were recovered as wall as trucks, minibuses, motor bikes, a computer, SIM cards and a printer.
The Command Post was established to prevent deadly incidents between Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regional states. Violence across their common border in 2018 led to the loss of lives and displacement.
The recent looting particularly of banks in western Oromia by armed men believed to be from the OLF led to reports last weekend that the army was carrying out airstrikes in the area.
The Oromia state government flatly denied the reports widely carried by local media describing them as misleading. That point was reiterated by the Command Post which said no such strikes had taken place.
They said there was no credible anti-peace group that could match the strength of the military on the ground so much so that there will be the need to use airstrikes.
The Command Post also lauded the active participation of people in exposing anti-peace elements adding that normalcy had returned to western Oromia as disrupted public and private enterprises resume their operations.
OLF are a former terrorist organization as designated by government. Its members and leaders were based in Eritrea and only returned last year after a peace deal between the two countries following decades of “no peace – no war” stance.
Oromia is also the home region of current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali whose peace efforts with Eritrea led to the return back home of about a half-dozen terrorist organizations in Eritrea. All the groups are back to participate in peaceful political struggle.