Here’s a 2006 report on Wikileaks, which says “an embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of GoE security forces.”
1. (S) SUMMARY A series of explosions were reported in Addis Ababa on September 16, killing three individuals. The GoE announced that the bombs went off while being assembled, and that the three dead were terrorists from the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) with links to the Oromo National Congress (ONC). An embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of GoE security forces. END SUMMARY
2. (U) On September 16, three bomb explosions were reported in the Kara Kore area of Addis Ababa. The explosions were heard at 4:45 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and 10:00 a.m. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), together with the Federal Police Anti-terror Task Force later reported that the bombs were “part of a coordinated terror attack by the OLF and Sha’abiya (Eritrea) aimed at disrupting democratic development.” The NISS said that the intended terror plot had failed and the bombs had mistakenly gone off while the suspects were preparing them while hiding out at an illegally built house. Two of the suspects died immediately, while another died on the way to the hospital. One other is in critical condition. The police task force reported having others in custody related to the plot and that evidence shows the terrorists had ties to Oromo groups – the Mecha and Tulema Association (MTA) and the ONC. They also said that the bombs used contained parts sourced from Eritrea and were
consistent with bombs used in previous terrorist attacks.
It’s to be noted that the government routinely rounds up innocent Oromo civilians on “bombing” charges while the plots and the actions are reportedly being carried out by the Zenawi regime’s security forces themselves. Another Wikileaks report has also revealed how the government constantly fabricates credible evidences to convince the public that the crackdowns on Oromos are motivated by “security threats” rather than politics.
In 2006, after being behind the bombings, the Zenawi regime’s security forces then went on to round up innocent Oromo civilians, as reported by the Oromo Support Group (OSG) in 2007, with the plan to cover the politically-motivated arrests of innocent Oromos behind the bombing incident. This same game/drama has been repeated several times since 2006 (also before that) to harass and terrorize the Oromo nation; the latest being the ongoing crackdown, in which some 29 innocent Oromos were rounded up in the last two or so weeks alone. More than 30,000 Oromo political prisoners currently languish in concentration camps after being rounded up with similar fabricated charges.
The Oromo Human Rights and Relief Organisation (OMRHO) reported in December 2006:
Mengistu Wakene and Temesgen Oljira were abducted by plain-clothed security men in Addis Ababa around 7.00 p.m. on 17 September 2006 [a day after the bombing explosions in Addis Ababa/Finfinne] and kept in a secret location, at least up to the date of publication three months later.
Students Bakala Dalasa and Habirru Birru were taken at night from their residence in Ginchi, W. Showa, around the same time, and have also disappeared in detention.
Also in September 2006, many Oromo were reported to have been abducted from a meeting of a legally registered Oromo cultural NGO in Adama (Nazaret) and held in an unknown location. Among these disappeared are:
Gadaa.com did some digging to correlate the Finfinne explosions of Sept. 16, 2006 by the TPLF regime with other big events of the time. Our analysis noted that Brig. Gen. Kemal Gelchu and some 150 soldiers defected to the OLF about a month prior to the Sept. 16's explosions. And, a day before the explosions, another group of military officers, Brig. Gen. Hailu Gonfa and Col. Gemechu Ayana, joined the OLF. TPLF was desperately looking to appear "in charge" and "strong" (which are the political motivations of Zenawi's crackdowns, according to many Wikileaks' reports on Ethiopia) following these defections, and it took the desperate measure of terrorizing residents of Addis Ababa, and then rounding up innocent Oromo civilians to distract the public from the biggest military defections in modern history. Read also a report about the conflicting news coverage of those bombings (Irish Independent newspaper).
The ongoing crackdown, in which innocent Oromo civilians are being harassed, does seem to follow the same trend; it is being waged following two high-profile defections – Obbo Sintayehu Gadaa's and Obbo Leggese Alemu Gurmu's. Will such crackdown address the growing discontent among the Oromo? Will the crackdown show that Zenawi is "in charge" and "strong," as desired by him, or otherwise?