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GoE, OLF sign peace agreement in Asmara
Workneh Gebeyhu(PhD) (L), Lemma Megerssa (R), Dawud Ibsa(C) after signing the agreement in Asmara

GoE, OLF sign peace agreement in Asmara

The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has signed a peace agreement with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to end hostilities previously labeled by the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) as a terrorist organization.

The president of the Oromia Regional State and the deputy chairman of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), Lemma Megersa and president of the OLF, Dawud Ibsa, signed the peace agreement on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in Asmara, the capital city of the neighboring Eritrea. A high-level delegation headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), traveled to Asmara a day before the agreement was signed.

In this regard, the head of the Oromia Communication Affairs Office, Negeri Lencho (PhD) told The Reporter that the two parties signed a peace treaty that has three major outcomes which provides for: the termination of hostilities, the OLF conducting its political activities in Ethiopia through peaceful means, and to establish a joint committee to implement the agreement.

Negeri further stated that though the front was conducting some insurgencies in southeastern and western Oromia; however, the government did not opt to display any counter operations and preferred to address the issue via peaceful means. Therefore, the agreement that was signed by the two is the result of such careful activity by the government.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), who assumed the premiership a few months ago, extended his invitation to all political groups who are based outside the country and who carried out struggles of all kinds, to come back home and conduct their struggle through peaceful means. Hence, many political groups have been returning home. The latest agreement between the OLF and the Government of Ethiopia will also facilitate to the OLF’s return and conduct its political activity locally.

It is to be recalled that the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) unanimously voted on a motion to resend the designation of three political groups – the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), and Patriotic Ginbot 7 from its "terrorists list". The three organizations were among the five designated 'terrorist' groups back in 2010 in line with the much controversial bill dubbed 'the Anti-terrorism Proclamation (Proc. 652/2009)'.