Ethiopia government trying peace outreach to OLA rebels: PM

The Ethiopian government is currently undertaking peace outreach to Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebels, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday.

Addressing Ethiopia’s parliament, the PM said his government had tried “peace overtures” at least ten times over the last two months, but “government efforts” have been hampered by lack of unity of command within OLA ranks. 

Ahmed also said, the ruling Prosperity Party has formed a committee to undertake possible peace negotiations with OLA rebels.

Responding to the PM’s statement, the OLA released a statement dismissing the Ethiopia’s government’s “peace overtures” as insecure. 

The OLA said the Ethiopian government deployed several local mediation committees to persuade individual OLA officers to surrender, which it said resulted in failures of the government efforts.

“The regime should not be attempting to develop a new propaganda narrative suggesting that the OLA is too decentralized to negotiate with. The OLA’s leadership is the High Command, which the regime is well aware of,” the OLA statement further said. 

The OLA statement however hinted “positive signs” that peace talks, with neutral international third-party mediation will take place without giving a timeline. 

The OLA which is listed as a terrorist group by the Ethiopian government has been accused multiple times of gross atrocities on civilians in Ethiopia’s Oromia region. OLA denies the charges.

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