Ethiopia party calls for arming of Oromia civilians

A prominent Ethiopian opposition party, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema), has called on the government to arm civilians so that they can defend themselves from attacks by rebels of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in Oromia region.

“We would like to strongly emphasise that it is imperative to arm communities living in places that government security forces cannot easily reach, in a legitimate and organised manner, to enable them resolutely defend themselves,” Ezema said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Ezema is one of the main opposition parties that agreed to work with the government, and its leader, Prof Berhanu Nega is the minister of education.

Its call follows attacks that have claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians, destroyed property and displaced millions in western Oromia.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in northern Ethiopia, Getachew Reda, in a Twitter post accused federal authorities of fanning the conflict in Oromia.

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