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    Ethiopian government to hold peace talks with Oromo rebel group

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    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia- (African Boulevard News) – Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced that peace talks will begin on Tuesday with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), a rebel group that has been active in the country’s largest and most populous region of Oromia. The talks will take place in Tanzania and the OLA has confirmed its participation.

    Peace talks to ease Ethiopia’s internal strife

    The Ethiopian government and the OLA have been in conflict since 2018, with accusations on both sides of violence and human rights abuses. Oromia, where the conflict is focused, has been the scene of ethnic massacres and communal animosities. The situation has become increasingly confused, with internal political struggles and territorial disputes further complicating matters.

    The talks present an opportunity to ease tensions and resolve the conflict that has affected the lives of millions of Ethiopians. Both sides have agreed to the participation of an independent third party mediator and a commitment to maintain transparency throughout the negotiation process.

    OLA’s call for peaceful dialogue

    The Oromo Liberation Army has consistently called for peaceful dialogue as the only viable solution to the conflict. The organisation has welcomed the Ethiopian government’s decision to engage in talks and confirmed its acceptance of the conditions for peace negotiations. The OLA has given birth to a nebulous group of armed groups claiming to be its own but with loose links.

    The OLA is estimated to have a few thousand men and observers consider it insufficiently organised and armed to pose a real threat to the federal government. However, the OLA has been accused by the government of being responsible for ethnic massacres that have taken place in Oromia. The OLA rejects these accusations and maintains that the government’s indiscriminate repression fuels Oromo resentment against the federal government in Addis Ababa.

    Unclear details of the talks

    Neither Prime Minister Abiy nor the OLA has specified who the mediator will be, in which city the talks will be held and in what format. It is uncertain whether the mediation team will be composed of local or international actors.

    The talks will take place during a period of political uncertainty in Ethiopia, with elections postponed to an indefinite date and ongoing conflicts in several regions of the country. The peace agreement signed on 2 November in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, ended two years of conflict between the Ethiopian government and regional authorities who rebelled against the federal government.

    The way forward for Ethiopia

    The peace talks with the OLA offer a glimmer of hope for the resolution of a conflict that has resulted in loss of life and displacement of communities. The talks also present an opportunity for the Ethiopian government to show its commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts in the country.

    The situation in Oromia is complex and requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of the conflict. The talks are a step towards finding long-term solutions to the grievances of the Oromo people.

    As the talks begin, stakeholders must ensure that they are grounded in the principles of inclusivity and accountability. The international community must also lend its support to ensure the success of the peace process.

    Ethiopia is at a critical juncture in its history, and the outcome of the peace talks with the OLA will have a significant impact on the country’s future.

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