Ethiopia to scrap Ginbot 7, ONLF and OLF from its list of terrorist organizations just days after Amnesty law is approved by the Ethiopian Parliament.
June 30, 2018
Council of ministers of Dr. Abiy Ahmed administration decided today to scrap three opposition rebel movements from the terrorist list in the country.
Ginbot 7, a rebel group based in Eritrea with grassroots support both in Ethiopia and abroad, is one of the organizations that is declared “no more terrorist” by Abiy Ahmed administration which has got a reputation for demonstrated effort to bring about reconciliation in Ethiopian politics.
The group announced last week that it suspended armed and all other forms of non-peaceful struggle.
Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – both ethnic-based separatist armed groups are also scrapped from the list of terrorism. The former has been working for the secession of Oromo region from the rest of Ethiopia for well over forty years now and the latter has been working for the secession of Ethio-Somali region.
It was in 2009 that the three organizations mentioned above were declared terrorist organizations in Ethiopia after the late prime minister Meles Zenawi manipulated the parliament, which was then known to be a mere rubber stamp, to enact anti-terrorist legislation.
Abiy Ahmed’s government, on the other hand, was working to respond to the demands of Ethiopians to reform the justice system in Ethiopia, and the anti-terrorist legislation has become one of the focus areas in the reform agenda.
The council of ministers has sent its resolution to the parliament for ratification, according to Fitsum Arega who is chief of staff in the prime minister’s office.
Pursuant to Proc. 652/2009, Cabinet has submitted a resolution to Parliament for ratification that will rescind the designation of OLF, ONLF & Ginbot 7 as terrorist groups. The decision will encourage groups to use peaceful political discourse to achieve political ends. #Ethiopia
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) June 30, 2018
On Wednesday this week, the Ethiopian government released top ONLF military commander, Abdikarim Muse Qalbi Dhagah who was captured in Somalia and handed over to the government of Ethiopia a few years ago.
The motive behind the government decision to cross off the three political movements from the list of terrorism is to encourage peaceful struggle in the country.
Removal of the legal barrier is expected to make it easier to the leadership from the three organizations, who are mainly based abroad, to enter the country without any problem. This week the parliament ratified amnesty law .
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