BBC – Ethiopia’s biggest sugar factory shuts over insecurity

Source: BBC

Ethiopia’s biggest sugar factory, which is located in an area where Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebels are active, has been unable to operate for a week because of security concerns.

Ethiopian Sugar Corporation’s spokesman Reta Demeke told the BBC that insecurity in the area meant it was impossible to deliver fuel to the Finchaa factory.

The fuel is needed to run the harvesting machines and other equipment at the factory, which is located in western Ethiopia, about 300km (186 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa.

Mr Reta said reports that the plant had stopped work because of an attack by rebels was not true.

Bekele Dechasa, the top government official in Horro Guduru zone – where the factory is located – recently told the media that rebels had set tractors and sugar cane on fire. 

There has been no immediate comment from OLA, which is in a formal alliance with Tigrayan rebels in the north. 

Previously residents have accused the group of carrying out killings and bank heists around the sugar plant – allegations the rebels deny. 

Finchaa factory has an annual production capacity of 270,000 tonnes.

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