Ethiopia’s government has ruled out peace talks with rebels from the Oromo Liberation Army, OLA, in the restive Oromia region.
Expectations had been raised after federal negotiators sat down and made a deal with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to end the two-year-long civil war in the north.
The OLA, which has also been fighting the federal government, at one time formed an alliance with the TPLF.
However, Hailu Adugna, a spokeswoman for the Oromia regional government, has since told local media that the government has no plans to meet with a group “which has no chain of command or political goal.”
An OLA representative denied the assertion and stated that the organisation would keep fighting. Oromian rebels have been charged with participating in a number of lethal attacks, which they vigorously deny.
The authorities assert that despite the absence of discussions, they will nevertheless accept OLA youth who have chosen to give up their weapons.
The conflict in Tigray has cast a shadow over the situation in Oromia, the region where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is from, yet attacks by various armed groups have persisted unabatedly. The failure of the government to safeguard citizens has been blamed.
The Oromo Liberation Front, which has since been registered as a political party, split into the OLA. The OLA has forged alliances with other rebel groups in the country’s west in addition to the TPLF in an effort to put pressure on Abiy’s administration.
The OLA, which the government has designated as a terrorist group, claims to be fighting for the Oromo people’s complete autonomy.
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