Ethiopia in peace pact wth Oromo Liberation Front

Following peace talks hosted by Eritrea, the government of Ethiopia announced a peace deal with the Oromo Liberation Front rebels Aug. 7. The deal guarantees rebel leaders the right to participate in Ethiopia's political process in exchange for laying down arms. The OLF has long been backed by Eritrea, and the pact comes one month after a formal end was declared to the two-decade state of war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, with Ethiopia ceding its claim to the contested border town of Badme. This points to a softening of positions under Ethiopia's new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed. The Badme deal was also said to have been quietly brokered by the United Arab Emirates, which has emerged as politically isolated Eritrea's most significant foreign patron, part of an apparent design to encircle Yemen.

However, winning the peace on the ground may prove challenging. Recent weeks have seen communal violence in the Ethiopian district of Moyale, which is divided between the country's Oromia Region and Somali Region. The border between the two internal regions is contested, and clashes between Oromos and Somalis left some 50 dead last month. (Ethiopia Reporter, Africa NewsOPride, Reuters, BBC News, Foreign Policy)

Photo: Yassin Juma

  1. Ethiopia: mass arrests follow ethnic violence

    Some 1,200 were arrested in Ethiopia following a wave of ethnic violence in the Addis Ababa area, in which some 20 lost their lives. In the town of Burayu north of the capital, residents said shops were looted and people attacked by Oromo youths who stormed through streets targeting businesses and homes of ethnic minorities. The unrest escalated on the day of a rally marking the return to Ethiopia of leaders of the exiled Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which had waged a four-decade insurgency for self-determination for Ethiopia's largest ethnic group. (AfricaNews)