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