Because of security concerns, Ethiopia’s largest sugar mill, which is located in an area where Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebels are active, has been unable to operate for the past week.
Reta Demeke, a spokesman for Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, told the Bazzup that insecurity in the area made it impossible to provide fuel to the Finchaa factory.
The fuel is needed to power the factory’s harvesting machines and other equipment, which is located in western Ethiopia, roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Addis Ababa, the capital.
Mr. Reta denied claims that the plant had halted operations due to a rebel attack.
Rebels had set tractors and sugar cane on fire, according to Bekele Dechasa, the main government official in Horro Guduru zone, where the factory is located.
The OLA, which is in a formal alliance with Tigrayan rebels in the north, has not yet responded.
Residents have previously accused the rebels of carrying out murders and bank robberies near the sugar refinery, which the rebels deny.
The Finchaa facility has a capacity of 270,000 tonnes per year.