On Wednesday, January 16, the spokesman for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced a military operation targeting Oromo rebels in the Kelam Wollega zone of Oromia region. The operation, which began two weeks prior, targets an Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) faction accused of recent violence and unrest in the region. A heightened security presence is expected in Kelam Wollega and nearby areas in the coming weeks; violence and civil unrest cannot be ruled out.
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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