Conflict between the federal government and rebel TPLF forces in Ethiopia threatens the very fabric of the state, with hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of starvation.
But while the focus has been on the conflict in Tigray, right across Ethiopia different groups are involved in their own struggles. Foremost amongst them are the Oromo – Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group. Two months ago, the Oromo Liberation Army announced a formal alliance with Tigrayan rebels in the north, against the government in Addis Ababa.
On Monday, OLA commander Jaal Marroo told the BBC the group had taken several towns in western, central, and southern Oromia, facing little resistance from government forces who were retreating. Government spokespeople have not responded to the BBC’s request for comment.
In this exclusive report, the BBC’s Africa correspondent Catherine Byaruhanga is the first international journalist to be given access to this secretive armed group.