Ethiopian security forces reportedly clashed with Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebels in Gedami (Oromia) on October 27-28, resulting in the deaths of at least three soldiers. The fighting caused widespread property damage, including the destruction of shops and houses, prompting residents of the village to flee. The military was reportedly attempting to carryout disarmament efforts of OLF rebels, although disagreements over the process have resulted in localized clashes between the two sides. Local officials denied the reports of violence and instead stated the government deployed reinforcements to the area following peaceful demonstrations. A heightened security presence in the area is likely in the coming days.
Outbreaks of violence continue to plague the country, notably in the Oromia region. A heightened security presence is thus to be expected across Ethiopian cities, particularly in Oromia, as the government enforces disarmament efforts with the OLF rebels. While the OLF agreed to a ceasefire in July 2018, former OLF-leader Dawud Ibsa, who returned to Ethiopia from exile in September, claims that the group has not agreed to a disarmament framework. This has led to heightened hostilities, with the government now declaring it will enforce the disarmament through force if necessary.
Individuals in the Oromia region are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid any large gatherings and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities or their home government.
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