BY BILEH JELAN @BILEHJELAN &
MAHLET FASIL @MAHLETFASIL
Addis Abeba March 23, 2021– In a statement released on its official Facebook page, the Oromia Regional State chapter of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP), the Oromo Prosperity Party (OPP) acknowledged the occurrence of violence in Oromia Special Zone in the Amhara Regional State, blamed the Amhara Regional State for the attacks, condemned the attacks against Oromo civilians and demanded that perpetrators who they identified as being members of the Amhara Regional State Special Forces be brought to justice.
In the statement OPP highlighted the brotherhood between the Amhara and Oromo people, it also said extremist actors in the Amhara Regional State leadership have been working to destabilize Oromia Regional state, “Oromo Prosperity Party have identified that extremist elements within the Amhara Regional State leadership are engaged in conspiracy to harm the the solidarity the Oromo and Amhara people enjoy. The extremist elements conspired to cause conflict in Oromia Regional State but the Oromo people showed them that the culture of peaceful coexistence with other nation, nationalities and peoples is deep rooted within our society and their plans to steer conflict failed. The Oromo and Amhara people have long lived side by side in peace in the Oromia Special Zone of the Amhara region but the extremists want to destroy the country, affect its unity and damage the solidarity of the two brotherly people; we understand that this is their agenda.”
During the 11th regular session of parliament that was scheduled to be held today March 23, 2021, Mohammed Hassan, a member of parliament asked about the conflict in Wollo, the MP suggested that the attacks were carried out by Amahara special forces on the Oromo community. The MP spoke of ethnically motivated attacks against the Oromo community using ‘OLF/Shane’ as a pretext. He accused Amhara political forces of holding Wollo Oromos hostage to secure their interest in Oromia regional state. The MP made an effort to highlight that the attacks in Amhara Regional State, North Shewa and Oromia Special Zones are ethnicity and religiously motivated.
Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed responded by saying, “We need to calm and resolve differences through dialogue and minimizing conflict.” The prime minister preached the need to safeguard and defend the lives of all people regardless of their ethnic identities. “Wollo only became a zone only after the establishment of multi ethnic federalism. It used to be a province where all communities lived in harmony.” the PM said before finishing his comments on the matter by highlighting the solidarity and brotherhood the Amhara and the Oromo community enjoy.
In a continuation of Addis Standard’s enquiry into the matter, Abebew Dagne, an Amhara resident of Majete told Addis Standard, “As far as i know the incident started five days ago after an imam was killed in Ataye. Not long after, organized mobs came to town and killed three people using modern weapons. We don’t know where they came from, all we know that here in Majete there are 40 Amharas victims and in Ataye I was told that that the death toll is high and businesses have been looted or torched.” He explained, “You have to understand that this conflict is a longstanding conflict but this time it is very different. I believe it was done directly to attack the Amhara and tarnish our image.” When asked if he thought OLF-Shene was behind it he said, “I can’t say that for two reasons, First the assailants came in huge numbers and it is not possible that crossed into Amhara region without the knowledge of the administration and Second, the assailants operated modern weapons,” Abebew Dagne testimony like the statement by Oromia Prosperity Party cast doubts on the Amhara Regional State statement that blamed OLF-Shene and TPLF for being behind the attacks.
Addis Standard again contacted Amhara Regional State Communication Bureau for comments on the matter, the bureau declined to give any comments saying that, “We have no more information on the matter.” AS