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Government and rebels claim successes in west

The Ethiopian government claims it has crushed Oromo rebels "trying to launch a guerrilla war" in the west of the country, allegations rejected by the rebels as "false propaganda". In a statement on Wednesday, the Ethiopian information ministry said a battalion of the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was wiped out around Dembi Dolo, near Gambela, with the help of area residents and militias. "The OLF was totally crushed while attempting to wreak havoc in the western part of the country," the statement said. Fighting has been raging for the past two weeks around Gambela, with both sides claiming they have inflicted heavy losses on each other. In a statement, received by IRIN on Thursday, the OLF accused the Ethiopian government of "false propaganda" which, it said, had become an "indelible habit". It claimed the rebels had "stepped up a military offensive in all directions". "The OLF military situation in Eastern Oromiya is concomitant with that of Western Oromiya," it stated. "It is in the nature of pathological liars such as the EPRDF/TPLF [ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front/Tigray People's Liberation Front] to continue to lie to the public whom they hold in utter contempt," the statement said. Formed in 1974, the OLF - which advocates self-determination for the Oromiya region - pulled out of an interim government with the EPRDF in 1992 and went into opposition.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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