News: OLA calls PM Abiy’s remarks on peace talks “ill-timed and misleading”, yet notes “positive signs” for negotiations

OLA is led by Kumsa Diriba a.k.a Jaal Marroo. Picture: Screenshot/AS

Addis Abeba – The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) has said that prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s claim that more than ten attempts were made to negotiate with the group is “inaccurate” and depicted that the attempts were “not sincere efforts to engage with OLA leadership.” 

In a statement released subsequent to the premier’s remarks. OLA (referred to as “Shene” by the government) pointed out that “the regime deployed several local mediation committees to persuade individual OLA officers to surrender, which ultimately resulted in failure.”

Responding to PM Abiy’s claim that his government faced challenges to negotiate with the rebels accusing them of not being “a united force”, OLA said “the regime should not be attempting to develop a new propaganda narrative suggesting that the OLA is too decentralized to negotiate with” further noting that, “the OLA’s leadership is the High Command”.

Despite calling the premier’s claims “ill-timed and misleading” the rebel group said “there are positive signs that peace talks, with appropriate neutral international third-party mediation, will take place” and reiterated its commitment to dialogue.

PM Abiy also indicated that there is an ongoing effort to resolve the near five-years old militarized conflict in the Oromia regional state, noting that the recent call for peace from the Oromia regional state was decided at a party level with the formation of a committee.

The Oromia regional state president called for reconciliation with OLA while addressing the 6th regular meeting of Caffee Oromia, the regional council, on 17 February. OLA reciprocated it as “welcome news“, but cautioned that the call lacks clarity. AS

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