Ethiopia: Oromo Liberation Front launches new offensive

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has launched a new offensive and taken control of several localities in the central part of Ethiopia.

The OLF force had been fighting along with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) until it suffered devastating defeat in a string of counter offensives last November by federal forces.

Witnesses told that the OLF force on Thursday arrived at Cheka locality and is currently advancing to Gundameskel, seat of Dera district.

The force is threatening to invade Sheber Berenta, Kelela, Wegdi and Merhabete towns and surrounding areas in Amhara region unless it is met with strong force, according to the witnesses.

OLF fighters also known as “Shene” reportedly burned houses and crops and did not face any resistance.

The fighting around Tigray areas abated except provocations by TPLF forces in an attempt to pull federal troops deep into Tigray region.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance on Thursday said it has readied a 122 billion Birr (approximately $2.5 billion) supplementary budget for national security and humanitarian assistance.

The budget will be used to rehabilitate conflict-affected communities and finance necessary government functions, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The budget was needed as the war in the northern part of the country has demanded additional expenses, the Ministry said.

The supplementary budget has already been sent to the Council of Ministers for endorsement and needs final approval from the parliament.