Government forces deployed to Chobi district of West Shoa zone, Oromia region to fight the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) have allegedly killed at least twelve civilians and wounded four others, residents told Addis Standard. Some of the victims were shot dead while they were in their houses, while others were killed on the road on the morning of 10 August, 2023 in two villages namely Qoricha Koticha and Hofu Bake of the district.
A resident of Hofu Bake village who said two of his brothers were killed in the attack told Addis Standard that the killing was perpetrated by government troops stationed in the village “campaigning to eliminate OLA”. The resident said the killing did not distinguish between age and gender, adding that an 11 year old child and a 70 year old elderly man were among the victims.
Another resident who fled the attack to neighboring Jalduu district said besides those killed and wounded, five women and 20 other men were abducted by government forces and taken to an unknown location. The resident noted that his wife and one of his sons are among the abducted.
According to the two residents, among the dead are four members of the same family; Gurmu Jifara, Tasfaye Jifara, Abarra Jifara and Abishu Jifara. Abishu succumbed to his injury later, while others were killed on the spot.
The two major Oromo opposition parties, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) have both denounced the killings which they described as “heinous and indiscriminate”. In separate statements released on 12 and 13 August respectively, both parties vehemently criticized the government’s “dry the ocean, to eliminate the fishes” approach, targeting the civilian population in order to annihilate the OLA armed group.