Peace talks between Ethiopian government, Oromo rebels end fruitlessly once again

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The latest round of peace talks between Ethiopia’s federal government and a militant group waging a long-running conflict in the country’s Oromia region have broken up in Tanzania without an agreement, both sides said Tuesday.

The Oromo Liberation Army says it is fighting for greater determination for the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, who have long claimed being marginalized. The insurgency stretches back to the 1970s but has escalated in recent years, killing thousands and rendering lawless vast swathes of Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region.

The OLA has been listed as a terrorist group in Ethiopia, and the government has accused it of carrying out mass killings against ethnic minorities.

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A previous round of talks between the OLA and Ethiopian officials in Tanzania earlier this year also failed.

Ethiopian flag

This undated photograph shows the Ethiopian flag. (Bildagentur-online/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Redwan Hussein, the prime minister’s national security advisor, blamed the “intransigence” of the OLA for the latest failure.

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“The obstructive approach and unrealistic demands of the other party are the principal reasons why these talks could not succeed,” Redwan wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

An OLA statement accused Ethiopia’s government of trying to co-opt its leadership “rather than beginning to address fundamental problems that underlie the country’s seemingly insurmountable security and political challenges.”

The Ethiopian government signed a peace deal with fighters from its northern Tigray region in November 2022, ending a devastating two-year conflict that is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands.

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Since then, however, conflict has flared elsewhere. In addition to the conflict in Oromia, the government faces a rebellion by militia fighters in the Amhara region that started in July.

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