Home | News    Saturday 11 October 2008

OLF breakaway faction, elders to resume talks in Ethiopia

By Tesfa-alem Tekle

October 10, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — A breakaway faction of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) will resume soon talks in Addis Ababa with a negotiating team drawn from Ethiopian elders.

The agreement was reached after an Ethiopian negotiating team led by Professor Efrem Yisahk held first round talks with the OLF leaders in the Netherlands.

During their first round talks which stayed 3 days from sep19-21, the negotiating team including Ethiopian Ambassador to Netherland and Pastor Daniel Gebreslase, has met and discussed with OLF top leaders including Lencho Leta, Ababya Aba-jabir and Dima Nego.

After the discussion The OLF leaders have agreed to hold second round talks at home in the near future.

The governments of Netherland, Norway and Germany have helped financially for the success of the talks.

The move is hailed by politicians as a big step forward in bringing national reconciliation.

In July 2007, Ethiopia granted amnesty to 38 opposition figures, including several CUD members and leaders, convicted of inciting violence following disputed general elections were released after having been in detention since the elections of 2005

Professor Efrem Yisahk was one of the former amnesty committee who enabled a successful negotiation for the release of those opposition figures who were expecting at least life sentence for an alleged post-election violence that left scores dead.

Two months ago OLF branch in Asmara has encountered internal division on its leadership which divided it into two albeit.

The OLF National Council, in a press release issued on October 5, accused the splinter group of usurping the OLF leadership by "unconstitutional means."

The National Council also called for the unity of Oromo organisation and urged them to stand up against all actions to undermine the Oromo interests.

Established in1973, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), fights for the liberation of the southern Oromo region, alleging government discriminates the Oromos, largest ethnic people of the nation.