Addis Ababa, May 4 : The first round of peace talks between the Ethiopian government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebel group has concluded without an agreement, officials announced.
In a statement, the Ethiopia Government Communication Service (EGCS) said the negotiations which were being held in Tanzania had concluded earlier Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“While the talks have been largely constructive, unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to reach an agreement on some issues during this round of peace talks,” the statement said.
“Both parties have acknowledged the need to continue these talks with a view to resolving the conflict permanently and peacefully.”
The OLA is a breakaway faction of the former rebel group Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an opposition political party claiming to fight for the rights of ethnic Oromos who make up about 35 per cent 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.
In its statement, the EGCS also said the government is committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Oromia in accordance with the country’s constitution.