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Oromo Liberation Front says “it will no longer have an armed group”

Oromo Liberation Front to support Oromo regional state and Oromo Democratic Party. It has agreed to merge with Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)

Oromo Liberation Front _ ODP
ODP leaders holding hands with OLF leader. Photo source : EBC

May 29, 2019

The militant faction of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) led by Dawud Ibsa reportedly agreed on Wednesday to work with Oromo Democratic Party and Oromia regional state.

According to a report published by Fana Broadcasting Corporate, the entities mentioned above agreed to work together so as to ensure the unity and interest of people in the region.

OLF also pledged to support measures the regional state takes in an effort to ensure the rule of law in the region.

In a joint statement attended by Oromo region state president, Shimeles Abdissa, Dawud Ibsa, Bekele Gerba and Jawar Mohammed and Ethiopian Deputy chief of staff, Berhanu Jula, Oromo Liberation Front disclosed that it will no longer have an armed group.

A reconciliation committee composed of elder which was formed earlier to arbitrate OLF and the party administering the region, ODP, has presented a report during the press conference. Among other things, the report highlighted work done to encamp OLF rebel combatants in state-run military training camps for rehabilitation and indoctrination before they integrate to the society.

This is not for the first time for OLF militant faction leader, Dawud Ibsa, to agree to work with the regional government in the interest of rule of law and peace in the region. And the news of the agreement today has created a sense of skepticism if the agreement would take root or not. It is not predictable how the new relationship will evolve.

This week, there was news of a merger between OLF and Oromo Federalist Congress ( OFC) which is led by professor Merera Gudina.

In the past, OLF had been resisting Federal government request to disarm claiming that the government has breached what it called the Asmara agreement. And the government had to engage the group militarily mainly in Wollega region of Ethiopia.

In January this year, the militant group robbed 18 banks in a span of two days in Wollega region of Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed administration’s patience, some understand it as incapability to take serious measure and/or special treatment for the armed group, was widely criticized by Ethiopians.

Unconfirmed rumor in social media says that armed groups are still operating in some parts of the regional state.

Now, Ethiopians seem to expect the government to step up effort to combat armed groups in the region including in Guji area where nearly one million ethnic Gedeos are displaced as the militant OLF faction caused security problem in the region.

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