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Ethiopian parliament backs labeling of Tigray rebels as terrorists

Last week, Council of Ministers declared 2 organizations as terrorists amid spike in attacks against civilians

Addis Getachew   | 06.05.2021
Ethiopian parliament backs labeling of Tigray rebels as terrorists FILE PHOTO

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s House of Peoples Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, on Thursday endorsed with unanimous vote an earlier decision by the Council of Ministers to designate Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) as terrorist organizations.

The designation, now passed into law, came amid frequent ethnically driven attacks against civilians and public infrastructures in several parts of the Horn of Africa county, including the northern, northwestern, southwestern, and central parts.

Last Saturday, the Council of Ministers approved a resolution, declaring TPLF and OLA as terrorists.

On Nov. 3, the TPLF forces attacked the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers while they were sleeping and looting military hardware, prompting the Ethiopian government to launch a sweeping law enforcement operation.

On Nov. 28, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared the military confrontation over after the fall of the regional capital Mekele to the federal army.

The TPLF was at the head of a four-party coalition -- the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front -- that ruled Ethiopia with a heavy hand for 27 years until 2028.

The two organizations have been blacklisted for arming, training, and financing other violent elements in addition to engaging in attacks themselves, the Ethiopian government said.

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