Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema), a well-known opposition group, has urged the government to arm citizens to protect them from attacks by the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in the 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.
One of the major opposition groups, Ezema, whose leader is Prof. Berhanu Nega, the minister of education, opted to cooperate with the administration.
Its request comes in response to attacks in western Oromia that have left millions of people displaced, killed hundreds of civilians, and destroyed valuable property.
Getachew Reda, the spokesman for the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in northern Ethiopia, accused the federal government of igniting the conflict in Oromia in a tweet.