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Ethiopian Sugar Plant Stops Work After Attack by Rebel Army

  • OLA rebels set sugarcane, tractors on fire at Finachaa factory
  • Nation makes 325,400 tons of sugar a year, uses 700,000 tons

Ethiopian Sugar Corp. said the Horn of Africa nation’s biggest miller of the sweetener has been out of operation since Feb. 9 after an attack by the rebel Oromo Liberation Army.

Finachaa Sugar factory, which has an annual production capacity of 270,000 tons, has seen repeated attacks by the group, according to company spokesperson Reta Demeke. In the latest incident, militia set tractors and sugarcane on fire, forcing operations to be suspended, he added.

“Due to the instability in the area, we were not able to ship fuel to operate the machines,” he said. “We have reported the situation to the relevant government body and are waiting for a response.”

OLA spokesman Odaa Tarbii did not answer several calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.

The factory is located in Horo Guduru Welegga Zone of Oromia Region, 350 kilometers (217 miles) northwest of Addis Ababa, the capital. Since 2020, there have been reports of increased violence in the area along with western Oromia where OLA, which is designated as a terrorist group by the parliament, has been active.

Finachaa is one of the 10 state-run sugar factories undergoing privatization as part of the government’s attempts at opening up the economy to foreign capital. The nation of about 120 million people consumes 700,000 tons of sugar annually, and produces 325,400 tons.

— With assistance by Samuel Gebre

1 thought on “Ethiopian Sugar Plant Stops Work After Attack by Rebel Army”

  1. Who in his right mind goes out and destroys implements and businesses of modernization? Who in his sane mind destroys a modern farm where hundreds possibly thousands make a living? Don’t tell me a ‘liberation’ army should that or such actions are justified as long as they are carried out by a ‘liberation’ army. Being caught in crossfire can be understandable but to intentionally torch it to the ground denying thousands the means to bring the dough home for their families is totally unacceptable and should be deemed criminal. It is no less than an act of terrorism. From now on don’t you dare call whoever did this a ‘liberation’ army. I am reading comments by some on social media comparing this hooliganism with the 18th and 19th rebellions by slaves in the Caribbean where they burned down sugarcane plantations. Folks, this is what we have been dealing with, total misrepresentation. Such claims are not made by ordinary folks like you and me but by supposedly well read lawyers and professors. When you condemn the massacre of innocent civilians they will hit you with heartless response like ‘how about those 500,000 peasants massacred in 1895 just before the Battle of Adwa?’ Those who burned this farm are possessed with twisted mind and those who make excuses for them from their comfy homes here among us are equally mentally sick, sick beyond repair.

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