Youths believed to be Oromo nationalists from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) carried out attacks in the localities of Buray and Ashewa Meda, located on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa, between Saturday, September 15, and Sunday, September 16, killing several people and prompting scores of residents to flee. Addis Ababa residents protested on Sunday in front of the national ETV broadcaster, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Tensions were reportedly also high in some areas in the north of the capital on Sunday. Further attacks and related demonstrations are possible in the coming days.
On September 12, OLF supporters demonstrated in the capital, chanting in the local Oromo language, raising the OLF flag, and painting the flag on walls throughout the city. Protesters also reportedly tried to burn the Ethiopia flag. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. On September 13, similar protests again took place, with people erecting roadblocks, throwing stones, and burning objects in some neighborhoods of the capital.
The OLF seeks self-determination for the Oromo people and OLF rebels have fought an insurgency against Ethiopia since the 1970s. The OLF declared a unilateral ceasefire on July 5, 2018, after the Ethiopian parliament rescinded its designation of the OLF as a terrorist organization, and peace deal was signed on August 7. Following the peace deal, the OLF agreed to conduct its political activities in Ethiopia through peaceful means.
Individuals in Addis Ababa are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, anticipate an increased security presence and traffic disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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