The Gambella Regional State announced earlier today that Gambella Liberation Front in cooperation with Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) conducted a sudden ambush in Gambella city giving rise to gunfire exchange between the rebel and security forces since daybreak.
Residents told media outlets that the armed rebels had controlled most part of Gambella city and were heading to the regional administration office.
The regional government later added that the heavy engagement lasted until 10:30 am EAT before there was relative stability in the city.
“With the heavy encounter from the government security forces, the city can be partially liberated. Both sides have sustained a number of casualties.”
Addis Zeybe learned from residents in Gambella city that the situation terrorized inhabitants as there was a continuous exchange of gunshots for hours. The administration advised people to stay indoors for safety.
In similar news, reports had been coming out that there was a skirmish in Dembi Dolo and Gimbi cities in western Wollega among OLA and government forces, and some parts of the cities are controlled by OLA.
Gambella Liberation Front (GLF) stated this morning it is carrying out a military operation in Gambella city in cooperation with OLA that targeted government security forces, institutions, leaders, and armed forces. GLF warned civilians to stay at home to avoid an abrupt crossfire.
Odaa Tarbii, the International spokesperson of the Oromo Liberation Army, said on his official Twitter account that “A joint operation by the Gambella Liberation Front and OLA is currently ongoing in the capital city of Gambella.”
He also disclosed OLA forces are engaging the government’s military in Dambidollo and Gimbi and Political prisoners that were being held in Dambidollo have been freed. Odda claimed the operation in Gambella was successful, though he didn’t specify whether they controlled the city.
“The joint-operation in Gambella has concluded after meeting its objectives. A large number of weapons and military supplies were captured from weapons depots in the city.”
Later on the day, Gambella Regional State announced victory over the rebels after claiming to take strong measures. “Now stability can be attained in the city and the armed groups suffered material and moral losses.”
The regional government also affirmed that the serious offensive measures against the armed groups will continue until the forces are fully destroyed.
On June 12, GLF alerted the government of the threats it is directing on the liberation front. “Whoever that has a direct or indirect role in terrorizing the Gambella Liberation Front fighters should know the same might come back to them.”
On the next day, the Gambella Regional State Security Council held a meeting passing a decision to take any measures to protect the security of civilians.
Gambella Liberation Front laid down in its establishment statement in July 2021, “We are here to announce the rebellion against Ethiopia’s prosperity party-led government. As we are all aware that there are only two options when it comes to political struggle, either through peaceful means or by way of armed struggle. After exhausting the means through a peaceful struggle, we were left with no option but to take the latter”.
Gambella Regional State is located in Western Ethiopia sharing a border with Sudan along with Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regional states.