News: Lemma Megerssa supports OLF-SG, government peace deal; preparations underway to bring rebels, committee says

Yared Tsegaye

Addis Abeba, January 29/2019 –  Freshly back from “a medical trip abroad”, Lemma Megerssa, president of Oromia regional state, expressed his support to the recent peace deal signed between the government and the rebel group OLF-SG, according to the committee formed to oversee the peace deal.

Speaking to local journalists late this afternoon, Jawar Mohammed, OMN executive director, and Bekele Gerba, Secretary General of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), said committee members have met and held discussions with Lemma today and that he expressed his support and intent to work towards the realizations of the peace agreement.

Talks have also continued both with federal and Oromia regional state authorities as well as leaders of the OLF-SG on implementing the peace deal, signed on January 24 in Ambo city, within the given time frame of the 20 days. Some of the talks were successful, some were not, but the committee will continue pushing for the peace deal to hold, Bekele said.

According to Bekele, the committee has also finalized preparations of selecting eight locations where the members of the rebel group will be welcomed before they are sent to various camps for trainings and reintegration, as was stipulated in the peace agreement. “A date has also been decided when they will get into camps.”

Asked by journalists about complaints from OLF-SG about continued arrests of its members, Bekele said that although complaints are coming from both sides, the extent has lessened significantly and the committee, which comprises of members of the Abba Gada council, is working on solving the remaining problems including asking both parties to work to that end.

According to the agreement both parties have agreed for an immediate ceasefire as of the day the agreement was signed (January 24). It included that the ceasefire was to be followed by demobilization and encampment of OLF-SG’s armed members within 20 days following which OLA members will undergo reintegration training programs. AS

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