Organized groups behind violence in Ethiopia,Attorney General Office
–Attorney General Task Force investigating groups involved in violence in Western Ethiopia.
–Oromia regional state fully backed National Security Council decision
Federal Attorney general Office said today that there are organized groups with strong support,he did not specify the kind of support, behind the violence in parts of Oromia and Benshingul regional states, Western Ethiopia.
Zenabu Tunun, public relation and communications director in the office, who spoke to VOA Amharic reporter, Eskinder Firew, in Addis Ababa did not name names in connection with the political identities of what he called “groups” behind the violence.
Findings of the task force that the Attorney General Office deployed to the region this week to establish identities of groups or individuals to be held responsible for killings will be made public, Zenabu added.
The attorney general office is convinced, based on Zenabu’s response to VOA Amharic, that the violence in the above mentioned areas is not haphazard. Rather, it is a planned one and carried out in a coordinated manner.
Asked if the office of the attorney general would agree with statement from the National Security Council, came out this week, which clearly stated that groups behind the violence are those who lost power and privilege due to ongoing change in the country, the Public Relation and Communications Director of the Attorney General Office said that he can not tell about it now as the findings will be made public when they are finalized.
US based Ethiopian Satellite Television, on the other hand, cited Benshangul regional state authorities to report yesterday that the radical ethno-nationalist group in Oromo region, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is behind the violence. OLF itself, however, issued a statement condemning the incident that claimed the lives of several members of the regional police and civilians as well, which some analysts say is a political cover.
A renewed protest is unfolding across Oromo regional state. And protesters seem to have mixed messages, probably by design. On the one hand, they are calling upon the federal government to act decisively against the killings and displacement of civilians. On the other hand, there is a loosely expressed campaign against leaders of Oromo Democratic Party, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, which is the main power player in the region credited for ending TPLF’s ruthless rule from within the ruling coalition by forging a political alliance with what is now, Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), another member of the ruling coalition. Unlike the radical group, ODP is envisions the creation of a democratic Ethiopia and is forming alliances with other moderate ethnic Oromo political organizaions. Last week, it reached agreement to Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) whose leaders are among the pioneer Oromo ethno-nationalists and fouders of OLF who later quite with the organization.
As far as Ethiopian government action is concerend, in accordance with decision of the National Security Council, which is the highest collective authority in the country on matters related to peace and security, the Federal government deployed forces to the regions that were affected by the violence last week and over 200 suspects allegedly involved in the killings of civilians and policemen are arrested.
Meanwhile, Oromia regional state cabinet held a meeting today to discuss current affairs including security and peace situation in the region. And the cabinet fully supported the decision of the National Security Council, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).