Oromo Rebels storm Ethiopian town – residents

Heavy gunfire has been heard after rebel fighters stormed the Ethiopian town of Nekemte, residents have told the BBC.

Oromo Liberation Army militants entered the city at dawn on Sunday and opened fire on government security forces, said one resident who asked not to be named for his safety.

“We are sitting inside our house listening to the gunfire,” he said. The gunfire was heard near the town’s military camp.

The authorities have not yet commented on the reports. The BBC’s attempts to reach the mayor and security officials in the city were unsuccessful.

Another resident also said he could hear shooting after fighters entered the town, which lies about 300km west of the capital, Addis Ababa, in the Oromia region.

He said that no-one was moving.

The fighting follows recent clashes in nearby parts of Oromia between the OLA and security forces.

Ethiopia’s government has been fighting the OLA for the past four years. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have long complained about being marginalised.

The OLA has a military alliance with the TPLF, which had been fighting the government in the northern Tigray region for the past two years until it signed a peace agreement earlier this week.

According to that agreement, the TPLF should stop supporting any other militias operating in the country.

BBC News Afaan Oromoo

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