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Dictator Abiy Ahmed Holds Fresh Round Of Talks With Oromo Rebels

November 8, 2023

Ethiopia’s government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebel group are holding talks in Tanzania to try to end a five-year insurgency in the country’s most populous region, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

Classified as a “terrorist organisation” by Addis Ababa, the OLA, an armed insurgent movement from the Oromia region, has been fighting the government since 2018, after splitting from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) when it renounced armed struggle.

“It’s been going on for almost 10 days,” a diplomatic source told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that the East African regional bloc IGAD was “playing the central facilitation role.”

The talks are “going very well,” he said, without elaborating on the venue or the time frame for the discussions.

“Both the sides are optimistic of a deal.”

An earlier round of talks, between late April and early May, ended without any agreement.

Although both parties expressed a willingness to continue discussions, the OLA later accused the government of launching a large-scale offensive against the rebels, “contrary to the spirit of de-escalation we had hoped for”.

The Oromo community, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, has long complained of marginalisation.

Since the OLA broke off from the OLF and started fighting, a string of armed groups have risen up in Oromia claiming to be part of its cause, although they are only loosely tied.

The OLA’s strength, estimated at a few thousand men in 2018, has increased significantly in recent years, though observers believe it is insufficiently organised or well-armed to pose a real threat to the federal government.

Oromia, which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, has suffered ethnic massacres in recent years carried out by unknown groups, particularly in the Qellem Wollega and West Wollega areas.

The OLA has been repeatedly accused by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — himself of Oromo descent — of being responsible for the killings, a charge it denies.

The government in turn is accused of waging an indiscriminate crackdown that has fuelled Oromo resentment against the central government.

A mosaic of more than 80 ethno-linguistic communities, Ethiopia has struggled to manage rival claims to territorial and political power.

The Barron’s news department was not involved in the creation of the content above. This story was produced by AFP. For more information go to AFP.com.


  1. Hey kids!
    It is enough with war of bloodshed and destruction. Peaceful and stabilized society is the civilized way of living. Enough with the stupidity that has caused the deaths of so many young and other innocent people!!!

    In one way, this shows how the world is changing. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, to hold talks with groups you call ‘terrorists’ was unthinkable. When talks were held between the Eritrean fronts and the then Ethiopian governments, it was pretty evident that the fronts never engaged in targeting civilians. We can all say the Eritrean fronts used to take extra precaution to avoid civilian casualties. But our ‘fronts’ of these days seem not care about the consequences of their military actions on civilians. In fact, it is abundantly discernible that these fronts go after civilians or civilian quarters and in the process murdering and maiming tens or hundreds in a single raid. They do that when they are starving for publicity. They do that because they never achieved any military success on the battle fronts. If they ever tried to engage government forces, they were licked in one clash after another. Then they take their anger out on innocent civilians falsely accusing them of government agents/lackeys. This has been working for them like a charm. How is that? You may ask. It got them a trip to a glitzy resort in Zanzibar, didn’t it? Now, who knows where it took them this time around. May be now it is time to another exclusive Four Seasons Resorts Villas in Seychelles. They will talk and bust their moves at the dance hall. Then at the end of ‘grueling’ talks they will tell us the usual that they could not arrive at a ‘truce’ but they have agreed to meet again. Jal and his ‘indomitable’ warriors will go back to their usual chores of murdering poor farmers and low wage-earning civil servants and the government will go back honing its skills in the use of drones raining bombs on innocent civilians. That is called a ‘country’, folks!!!

    I am writing this from my ever-standing conviction that there is no reason for any kind of armed struggle in any region in that country. None whatsoever!!!!! Take that to the bank! If some of you war mongers don’t like my unflinching stance on stupid armed struggle, you can jump to your death from a high rise building or jump in the deep end a lake near you. No one will shed tears. Good riddance!!!!!

  2. OLF is talking to OLF. Nothing new will come to the Oromo people, let alone the persecuted Amhara.
    The only struggle they wage is the slaughtering of the unarmed, women and children. It has been 40 years since the Asosa OLF massacre of Amhara farmers and the genocidal train has been running in full steam since.

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