Thursday, December 9, 2021

Several Ethiopian armed opposition groups to form a coalition

NAROBI, Kenya (NWN) – Ethiopia’s Tigre force is joining a coalition against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to demand political change after a year, along with other armed and opposition groups. of a devastating war, organizers said Thursday evening.

Signed in Washington on Friday include Tigre forces fighting Ethiopian and allied forces, as well as the Oromo Liberation Army now fighting alongside Tigre forces and seven other groups from across the country.

The coalition is building up as US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman holds talks with senior government officials in the Ethiopian capital to call for an immediate ceasefire and end the war that has killed thousands since November 2020.

The New United Front of Ethiopian Federalist Forces “wants to establish a transitional system in Ethiopia” so that the prime minister can leave as soon as possible, organizer Johannes Abraha, who is with the Tigre group, told the Associated Press. “The next step will, of course, be to start meeting and communicating with countries, diplomats and international actors in Ethiopia and abroad.”

He said the new alliance is both political and military. He said it had no communication with the Ethiopian government.

Oromo Liberation Army spokesman Oda Tarabi confirmed the new alliance. Asked if this meant forcing Abiy out, he replied that it depends on the Ethiopian government and what happens in the coming weeks. “Of course we prefer if there is a peaceful and orderly transition with Abiy removed,” he said.

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“The goal is to be as inclusive as possible. We know this change requires all stakeholders,” he said. But for members of the Prime Minister’s Prosperity Party, “there has to be a process. For war-related crimes many members will undergo investigation, possibly being prosecuted”.

The prime minister’s spokesman, Bilen Siyum, appeared to address the new coalition on Thursday evening, when he tweeted that “no outsider who rejects the democratic processes initiated by Ethiopia cannot be used to democratize”. is,” pointing to the opening of Abi’s political space after the office in 2018. His reforms included welcoming some opposition groups home from exile.

In response, an OLA spokesperson noted that some of the people who returned to Ethiopia were subsequently jailed or placed under house arrest. “A lot of goodwill has been lost in the last three years,” he said.

Other groups that signed on Friday include the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, Agawa Democratic Movement, Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement, Gambela People’s Liberation Army, Global Kimant People’s Right and Justice Movement/Kimant Democratic Party, Sidama National Liberation Front and Somali State Resistance . organizer

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