Ethiopia lifts 'terrorist' designation on three groups

2018-07-05 20:08
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ethiopia's parliament on Thursday removed three groups from the country's list of "terrorist" organisations in a bid to mend fences with the political opposition, state media reported.

Rights groups have long accused Ethiopia of using allegations of involvement with the armed anti-government groups Ginbot 7, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) as a pretext to jail journalists and opposition politicians.

Since taking office in April, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has released imprisoned dissidents and prioritised reconciling with the country's various opposition groups.

In May, he ordered the release of top Ginbot 7 official Andargachew Tsige, prompting the group's announcement the following month that it would stop armed attacks.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER 

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

And earlier this week, a splinter group of the OLF, the United Oromo Liberation Front, agreed "to engage in a peaceful struggle," Ethiopia's government communications office said in a statement.

Parliament then moved to formally lift the terrorist designations from Ginbot 7, OLF and ONLF, all of which had been the targets of bloody counterinsurgency operations by Ethiopian security forces.

"The parliament passed the resolution unanimously," state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

There was no immediate comment from the OLF or ONLF.

A 42-year-old former army officer and cabinet minister, Abiy is pushing an aggressive reform agenda.

He has announced the partial liberalisation of the economy and pursued rapprochement with neighbour and foe Eritrea, where relations have been stalemated since a two-year border conflict ended in 2000.

The moves represent stark departures in policy for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which, together with its allies, controls every seat in parliament and has long been accused of persecuting dissenters.

Read more on:    ethiopia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.