Friday November 4, 2022
Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebels, who are fighting Ethiopian federal government forces, kidnapped an unknown number of officials from the western town of Mendi earlier this week, according to a local official and residents.At least three banks were reportedly robbed and government offices ransacked, according to residents who talked to the BBC on the condition of anonymity.
Residents of the town, which is located more than 500km (310 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa, told the BBC that the rebels seized control of Mendi after intense fighting.
"There is no transportation, shops are closed and residents are inside their house," one person said.
"No government office was left, all are damaged,’’ another resident added.
A rebel commander confirmed to the BBC they had kidnapped local officials but did not say how many.
The OLA, which had made an alliance with northern Tigrayan forces that have just signed a truce with the government, have been accused of targeting local officials and minorities in the restive region of Oromia, which they always deny.