Ethiopian rebels call for Kenyan mediation

November 4th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

NAIROBI, Nov 4 (Reuters) – An Ethiopian rebel group that has waged a three-decade insurgency said on Saturday it wants neighbouring Kenya to mediate between it and the government.The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has fought for independence for the southern Oromo region since 1974, alleging discrimination against Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group.

Kenya hosted talks between Khartoum and south Sudan’s rebels, and on Saturday the OLF said it also wanted Kenyan help.

“We have asked the Kenyan government to help us resolve this as they did with Sudan. They have the experience to help with mediation,” Fido Ebba, OLF’s head of diplomacy, told Reuters.

Ebba said his group also wanted Kenya to raise the OLF’s concerns at the regional body, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and at the African Union.

He said Kenya had not yet responded to the OLF request.

The government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says the rebels are terrorists supported by Ethiopia’s arch-foe Eritrea.

Ebba denied his movement was being armed by Asmara.

“The Eritreans are our friends. We have been working with them for a long time,” he said.

“They understand the Oromo cause is genuine, and they support us. We don’t get much material support, but sympathy and understanding. But they are not arming us.”

Ebba also denied the OLF was supporting the newly powerful Islamists in neighbouring anarchic Somalia.

“This is Ethiopian propaganda to get the West to isolate the OLF,” he said. “We oppose religious extremism. In fact, we worry this extremism could enter our country and divide our society.”

Addis Ababa supports Somalia’s weak, Western-backed interim government, which is increasingly threatened by the Islamists.

  1. farid
    | #1

    Hallo olfits you are playing with a fire.After you make a deal with the true Ethiopians now you make monkey underground game. this way you make your socalled fight for freedom will never come true

    | #2


    OLF IS AN INDIPENDANT ORGANIZATION TO TAKE ANY DECISION THAT IT DEEMS SERVES THE INTEREST OF THE OROMO PEOPLE. I don’t know who you catagorize as “true and untrue ethiopian” but if you refers to AFD, OLF or any other front have the right to engage in any sort of activities that fits thier interest. And after all the freedom of the Oromo people or any one does not depend on the blessing of people you call”true ethiopian”.

  3. Ethiopia3000
    | #3

    Hi ABBAA…,
    I don’t think OLF’s move, if at all takes it a mile, is right. If you are not learining from past experience, then you are repeating the same ‘mistake’. You know who true Ethiopians are; I agree with farid…thx!

  4. Gedelgibu
    | #4

    Hi Folk!!
    weak up, this is politic. each and every political organization even OLF, is working to achieve the freedom of oromo people. why couldnt u stop while minority TPLF government, begg kenyan government, to corner oromo freedom fighters from neighbouring country and try to act as a champione in EGAD ??
    why dont u do your homework rather than critisizing OLFs effort to expose wayane in all direction of strugle ???

  5. mustefa
    | #5

    hi every one let us be sincere at first and know the game of politics else remain quite.

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