Politics, Africa

Ethiopia: Main Ogaden rebel group to lay down arms

ONLF has been fighting Ethiopian government since its establishment in 1984 for secession of the Somali Region

22.10.2018
Ethiopia: Main Ogaden rebel group to lay down arms

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

The largest and last remaining rebel group in Ogaden -- the predominantly ethnic Somali region in Ethiopia's east -- has signed a peace deal with the Ethiopian government to lay down arms.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which has fought for the secession of the gas-rich Somali Region, struck a deal with the Ethiopian government on Sunday to pursue peaceful political struggle, local media cited Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu as saying.

Gebeyehu and an Ethiopian government delegation met with the ONLF leaders in Asmara, Eritrea.

ONLF has been fighting the Ethiopian government since its establishment in 1984.

It was one of the three rebel groups that had been dubbed as "terrorist" by the Ethiopian government until Abiy Ahmed became prime minister on April 2, 2018.

In July, the Ethiopian parliament removed ONLF's "terrorist" label along with two other rebel groups, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Patriots/Ginbot 7 (PG7).

Following a call by Ahmed, all but ONLF officially returned to the country to pursue a peaceful political contest.

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