Addis Abeba – The Global Oromo Interfaith Council (GOIC), representing Oromo religious institutions, has urged the Ethiopian government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) to resume peace negotiations.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and OLA Commander Kumsa Diriba, also known as Jaal Marroo, the GOIC Board of Directors expressed disappointment that recent talks in Tanzania did not yield results.
The council encouraged both the federal government and OLA to persist in the dialogue for the well-being of their people, emphasizing the greater goal of achieving permanent peace. GOIC, a collective organization representing various Oromo religious institutions in North America, Canada, Europe, Australia, and several African countries, stressed the critical importance of leveraging rational and constructive dialogue for peace during this pivotal moment in Ethiopia’s history.
The Dar es Salaam talks, aimed at ending the five-year conflict in Oromia, stalled after two weeks due to disagreements over substantive issues. The OLA proposed political reforms for “inclusive governance” in Oromia, while the federal government advocated for a ceasefire similar to one signed with the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The OLA accused the government of failing to address the historical marginalization of the Oromo people, while the government accused the OLA of being unwilling to compromise on key issues.
The Council underscored the need for continued dialogue for the benefit of the Ethiopian people, despite the complexities. It emphasized the importance of both leaders remembering the greater goal of the well-being of their people and the pursuit of permanent peace.
GOIC acknowledged the historical challenges and urged both parties to return to the negotiation table with open hearts and minds, seeking common ground. It offered its support for the road to reconciliation and encouraged both sides to seize the opportunity to establish stability and prosperity for future generations. AS