Ethiopia rules out peace talks with Oromo rebels

Ethiopia’s government has dashed any hope of peace talks with rebels 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 Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), which has also been fighting the federal government, at one time formed an alliance with the TPLF.

But an Oromia regional government spokesman, Hailu Adugna, has since told local media that the government had no plans to sit with a group “which has no chain of command or political agenda”.

The claim has been disputed by an OLA spokesperson who said it will continue to fight.

The rebels in Oromia have been accused of being involved in a number of deadly attacks, which it denies.

The authorities say that despite there being no talks, they will continue to receive OLA youth who have opted to lay down their arms.

The situation in Oromia, the home region of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has been overshadowed by the war in Tigray, but attacks by different armed groups have continued unabated.

The authorities have been blamed for not protecting civilians.

The OLA is a splinter group of the Oromo Liberation Front which is now a legally registered political party. As well as making an alliance with the TPLF, the OLA has also made deals with other rebels in the western part of the country to put pressure on Mr Abiy’s government.

The OLA says it is fighting to secure full autonomy for the Oromo people and has been labelled a terrorist organisation by the government. -BBC

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