An Ethiopian rebel group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), wrote a protest letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, denying any involvement in the alleged bomb plot at an African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa earlier this year.
A UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (MGSE) report on July 28th accused the outlawed OLF of attempting to smuggle explosives into Addis Ababa to bomb the AU headquarters.
Ethiopian security forces said they foiled the attack and arrested suspects days before the planned attack.
According to the UN body’s report, testimony by arrested members of the terrorist team claimed Eritrea paid them to carry out the operation.
However, the Oromo rebel group in its protest letter sought to have the UN monitoring group retract the allegation arguing the report’s conclusion was reached based only on claims and “manufactured evidences” from the Ethiopian government.
“Indeed the report of the MGSE that links the OLF to the terrorist act is flawed. Foremost, the methodology that the Monitoring Group used is flawed and has no scientific base” the group protested.
“It has been indicated that the MGSE interviewed individuals that the Ethiopian government claimed to have been captured while they were plotting to bomb the General Assembly of the African Union” it said.
“The MGSE team reached its unsubstantiated conclusion solely based on the claim of the plaintiff, i.e., the Ethiopian regime, and without counterchecking with other sources”.
The OLF accused the UN panel of failing to offer the rebel group a chance to disprove the serious allegations despite promises to contact them.
“MGSE not only decided to deny the OLF the right to be heard on the matter in which it has been falsely accused, but also did not want our input in accomplishing its mission. It is our considered judgment that the MGSE’s investigation process was not fair and its report lacks veracity” the group said.
The group urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) to reject what it said was a “biased and baseless report” further calling for “a genuine scientific research” against governments “gross human rights violations against Oromo peoples”.
Founded in 1973, the OLF is an organisation established by Oromo nationalists to promote self-determination for the Oromo people, the largest single ethnic group in Ethiopia.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is one of the three home-grown political groups the Ethiopian parliament recently designated as a terrorist organisation along with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Ginbot 7.
Ethiopia’s government holds the OLF responsible for 106 deadly terrorist acts inside the country.
Daawud Ibsaa Chairman of the group in the protest letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said the OLF opposes all forms of terrorism and as a matter of policy rejects using terrorism as a form of struggle.
“The OLF does not target civilian populations and their properties in its military operations.” He said adding “The OLF did not and will not plan to bomb the AU headquarters.”
It noted a need for the international community to exert maximum pressure against the Ethiopian government to engage in a “meaningful dialogue”.