Forces that strive to make Oromia Regional State a war zone must take their hands off, the Oromo National Congress (ONC) said.

The conflict between the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) must stop immediately as it is hampering the right of citizens to live in peace, the party added.

Briefing journalists today, ONC Chairperson Tolossa Tesfaye said certain quarters are busy attempting to hijack the reform by creating conflict among people despite the widening democratic space.

“People with interest in turning the country into chaos are buying weapons with money robbed from the public to create conflict in Oromia, especially around Moyale, Guji, and Shashemene,” Tolossa pointed out.

The chairperson stressed that “parties and the people are these days clear about the fact that power should only be seized through democratic election and not guns.”

Fortunately, Tolossa said the armed conflicts in Horo Gudru, Dembi Dollo and Keleme Wollega as well as Kiyu in North Oromia have subsided during the last three days.

The agreement reached with OLF before its return from exile and kept secret has become a cause for the armed conflicts, according to Tolossa.

The chairperson urges the government to refrain from use of force as it endangers the lives of citizens.

ONC Organizational Affairs Head, Takele Adugna, who stated that the only route to power is election, said “the destruction of bridges and dismantling of government structures by OLF must stop.”

According to him, the party has issued a seven-point resolution with regard to the conflict in Oromia Regional State.

“Knowing that there is no way of getting power through this, power mongers and thieves should instead join democratic forces,” Takele added.

ONC has also called on all the legal regional parties to work in unison to stop the conflict, ensure peace, and sustain the ongoing reform. (ENA)