Ethiopia’s leader admits military losses in insurgencies

Jul 6, 2022, 7:34 PM | Updated: Jul 7, 2022, 8:48 am
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia...

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, July 7, 2022. Abiy said Thursday his government's police and soldiers are dying on a "daily" basis as the country grapples with insurgencies in Oromia and elsewhere. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopian police and soldiers are dying on a “daily” basis as the country grapples with insurgencies in Oromia and elsewhere, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Thursday.

Abiy in a parliamentary address repeated a vow to destroy the Oromo Liberation Army, a rebel group his government blames for two recent massacres targeting members of the Amhara ethnic group.

“As a government, the fact we are not able to prevent the acts they committed, we feel quite sad,” Abiy said. “Daily police officers die, security forces die” while fighting the Oromo rebels, he said.

In a rare admission of government losses, Abiy also said that “hundreds” of district officials have been killed in attacks.

The increase in violence in Oromia comes as the 20-month-long conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front appears to be reducing. Last month Abiy revealed a committee has been set up to negotiate with the TPLF, but if the talks fail he suggested his government is ready to renew military efforts.

“The unity and the interests of our country, if it becomes difficult to secure it peacefully, we will pay sacrifices with our lives,” Abiy told lawmakers. “Outside of that, we believe there is hope. Our door will remain open for peace.”

In Oromia, the latest killings occurred on Monday, resulting in the deaths of an unknown number of civilians in the unstable West Wellega area. It followed a separate attack in the region last month that witnesses said killed hundreds.

The Oromo Liberation Army, or OLA, an outlawed group that the government refers to as Shene, denies carrying out the killings.

In response to the violence, regional and federal forces have stepped up their offensive against the OLA. Abiy said counterinsurgency efforts have been “95%” successful in saving civilian lives and compared the recent ethnic-based killings to gun violence in the United States.

“The security forces serve the country at a high cost, so the parliament should recognize their efforts,” Abiy said, describing the mass killings as “inhumane acts” perpetrated by “destructive, evil forces.”

On Wednesday Ethiopia’s parliament set up a special body to investigate the killings in Oromia, where regional government forces have also been accused of human rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch in a statement this week said a “culture of impunity” has “emboldened unaccountable security forces” that it says are responsible for a spate of extrajudicial killings in Oromia.

The killings are putting pressure on Abiy’s government to do more to protect civilians as waves of ethnic unrest persist in Africa’s second-most populous country with a population of 115 million people. Ethiopia has more than 90 different ethnic groups, according to its census. The Oromo are the largest group with an estimated 34% of the population followed by the Amhara with 27%.

Violence between various ethnic groups has increased in recent years as a result of longstanding rivalries.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
7 hours ago
FILE - The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021. Tens of millions of small U.S. c...
Associated Press

Treasury moves forward with database on corporate ownership

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of millions of small U.S. companies will soon be required to provide the government with details on their owners and others who benefit from them under a regulation that became final on Thursday and is intended to peel back the layers of ownership that often hide unlawfully obtained assets. The Treasury […]
1 day ago
FILE - Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy stands on the field at Bre...
Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs praying coach, no sweeping changes

Across the ideological spectrum, there were predictions of dramatic consequences when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a public high school football coach’s right to pray on the field after games. Yet three months after the decision — and well into the football season — there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches […]
1 day ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, greets dignitaries from Pacific Island Countries during th...
Associated Press

Biden’s Pacific strategy heralds new engagement in region

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Thursday unveiled a Pacific strategy designed to bolster U.S. engagement with more than a dozen island nations on issues including climate change and maritime security while pledging to expand the U.S. diplomatic presence in the region. The Biden administration released its new strategy, as well as plans for […]
1 day ago
Protest posters are placed in front of the fuel element fabrication plant of the 'framatome' compan...
Associated Press

Russia’s nuclear trade with Europe flowing amid Ukraine war

PARIS (AP) — While the European Union agreed to curtail its use of Russian oil and gas, its member nations continue to import and export nuclear fuel that is not under EU sanctions – to the chagrin of the Ukrainian government and environmental activists. A cargo ship carrying uranium that departed from the French port […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

US economy drops at 0.6% annual rate from April through June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Battered by surging consumer prices and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy shrank at a 0.6% annual rate from April through June, the government announced Thursday, unchanged from its previous second-quarter estimate. It marked the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction, one informal rule of thumb for a recession. Most economists, citing […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Ethiopia’s leader admits military losses in insurgencies