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Ethiopia to lift terror label on three rebel groups

Sunday July 1, 2018

Ethiopia is to lift terror labels from three rebel groups, an Ethiopian official said on Saturday.

In a press statement, Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff at the Office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said the ministers cabinet has submitted a resolution to Parliament to repeal the terror label on Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ginbot 7.

He said the decision is meant to encourage dissident groups to use peaceful political discourse to achieve political ends.

Ethiopian Parliament is dominated by the ruling coalition Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and allied parties, and ratification of the resolution is expected to be a formality.

Since coming to power in April, Ahmed has moved fast to institute political reforms including freeing thousands of prisoners including prominent opposition figures and has promised to amend controversial laws.

The political reforms came after almost three years of unrest in Ethiopia's two most populous regional states Oromia and Amhara, which make up more than 60 percent of the country's estimated 100 million population.

Bloody protests over allegations of political and economic marginalization since late 2015 has cast doubts about the stability of one of Africa's star economies.


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