Ethiopia: Rebel group accuses government of airstrikes

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A rebel group in Ethiopia recently welcomed back to the country under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ‘s reformist policy has accused the government of targeting it with airstrikes.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) says Ethiopia’s airforce carried out airstrikes in the western Oromia region on January 12-13. The rebel group claims seven civilians were killed in the strikes, including one baby – accusations the government denies.

Rebel group accuses government of airstrikes

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has invited various rebel groups back into the country to participate in political discussions but his reformist policy has coincided with increasing ethnic tensions across the country. Ethnic violence has been particularly alarming in and around the Oromia region, which is home to the OLF and the country’s largest ethnic group.

Abiy’s office has denied any airstrikes took place and said various groups are not “heeding the call for peace”. Press secretary Billene Seyoum accused the OLF of  “egregious violence against community members” in a statement.

While the impact of Abiy Ahmed’s government has received praise – both in Ethiopia and internationally – the rise of ethnic violence since he came into office has quickly become the biggest threat to security in the country.

Featured image: By Jonathan Alpeyrie – by user:jalpeyrie (via email), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4171558

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.