Ethiopia: An Oromo rebel leader promises a victory “very soon

A leader of the Oromo armed group OLA, which is fighting the Ethiopian government alongside Tigrayan rebels, said his fighters were near the capital and preparing a new attack, promising an end to the conflict “very soon.
The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an ethnic Oromo armed group, announced in August that it had formed an alliance with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting government forces in the north of the country since November 2020.
The TPLF and the OLA – considered terrorists by Addis Ababa – claimed last week to have captured several strategic towns in the Amhara region, without ruling out a march on the capital.
“What I am sure of is that it will end very soon,” said OLA military chief Jaal Marroo, adding, “We are preparing to launch another attack.”
“The government is just trying to gain time and they are trying to start a civil war in the country, so they are calling the nation to fight,” said Jaal Marroo, whose real name is Kumsa Diriba.
While the TPLF has claimed to have taken towns within a few hundred kilometers of Addis Ababa, Jaal Marroo says some OLA fighters are even closer, about 40 kilometers from the capital, without having “ever moved an inch” from the territory they controlled.
The OLA is based in Oromia, the largest region in the country that encloses Addis Ababa.
Communications are cut off in the combat zones and access for journalists is restricted, making independent verification of positions on the ground difficult.
The government has denied any threat to Addis Ababa, but authorities in the capital have asked residents to organize to defend the city. Several foreign embassies have called on their citizens to leave the country.