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Ethiopia set to remove 3 armed groups from terror list

Sunday July 1, 2018

Ethiopia’s newly elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addresses the members of parliament inside the House of Peoples’ Representatives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia April 19, 2018. REUTERS

Ethiopia’s cabinet has passed a resolution to remove three armed groups from a terror list as part of sweeping reforms under a new prime minister. The groups, operating mainly from neighboring Eritrea, had opposed the government that ruled Ethiopia for close to three decades.

The resolution delisting the Ogaden National Liberation Front, the Oromo Liberation Front and Ginbot 7 now goes to Parliament, the prime minister’s chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, said Saturday on Twitter: “The decision will encourage groups to use peaceful political discourse to achieve political ends.”

Senior figures with the groups, including British national Andargachew Tsige, were released from prison in the weeks after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April.

Al-Qaida and the Somalia-based al-Shabab remain on Ethiopia’s terror list. The five groups were listed in 2011 under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism proclamation, which the government at the time said was aimed at undercutting terror threats at home and in the region.

The cabinet also approved a law to be sent to Parliament that grants amnesty for individuals and groups either under investigation or convicted for treason, crime against the constitutional order and armed struggle.

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition and affiliated parties hold all seats in Parliament.


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