Ethiopian peace talk concludes with no accord – official

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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) is seen with South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019. Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Monday for face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir. President Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss and reevaluate progress and challenges facing the revitalized peace deal they signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia to end more than five years of conflict. (Xinhua Denis Elamu)
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) is seen with South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019. Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Monday for face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir. President Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss and reevaluate progress and challenges facing the revitalized peace deal they signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia to end more than five years of conflict. (Xinhua Denis Elamu)

Peace talks between the Ethiopian government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebel group have ended without an agreement, an Ethiopian official said on Tuesday.

Redwan Hussein, national security advisor to Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, attributed the failure to the “intransigence” of the OLA negotiators.

“The obstructive approach and unrealistic demands of the other party are the principal reasons why these talks could not succeed,” said Hussein on X, formerly Twitter.

The second round of closed door peace talks between the two sides in Tanzania lasted for more than a week to find a peaceful solution to a long-running low-level insurgency in Oromia, Ethiopia’s most populous region.

In April, the two sides met for the first time in Tanzania for peace talks which ended without an agreement.

The OLA is a breakaway faction of ex-rebel group Oromo Liberation Front, an opposition political party claiming to fight for the rights of Oromos, an ethnic group making up about 35 percent of Ethiopia’s population.

The OLA, with an estimated 3,000 fighters, operates mainly in the western and southern parts of the Oromia Region, the principal homeland of ethnic Oromos.

In May 2021, the Ethiopian parliament voted to designate the OLA as a terrorist group, a designation still in effect now.

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