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News: Oromia region Gov’t says talks with Oromo Liberation Army will continue

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Addis Abeba – Oromia regional state government said on Tuesday that it is working to ensure the continuation of the talks between the federal government and representatives of Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) which took place in late April, Tanzania, Zanzibar.

However, the week-long talks between the two parties ended without agreement, although both parties acknowledged the positive outcomes. The government said it “largely constructive,” while OLA said that “understandings were reached on some outstanding issues.”

Hailu Adugna, Head of Communication office of Oromia Regional state, said in a briefing to local media yesterday that the regional and federal governments were determined to resolve the differences with the OLA through dialogue and to make the next talks fruitful.

However, earlier, the OLA accused the government of launching military offensives in Jaldu (West Shawa) and Adami Tulu (East Shawa), zones of Oromia regional state. “Both offensives were routed with over 75 regime fighters being neutralized,” OLA claimed.

Hailu urged the cooperation from various stakeholders in helping to realizing the fruitful outcomes of the talks so that security and stability in the region will be guaranteed to promote peace among communities in the region to return to their normal life.

He further said that the government “believes in the importance of peace” and that it has been working to end conflicts with any warring party so that differences of opinions can be resolved through dialogue.

Hailu said that good understanding during the first-round talks Tanzania but he gave no indication as to when and where second round talks are scheduled to take place.

Despite the absence of agreement, however, the outcomes of the first round talks received positive remarks from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), one of the three external facilitators besides the governments of Norway and Kenya. IGAD’s Executive Secretary Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, said he was “pleased with the progress made”, and pledged the “use of his “good offices” if and when needed by the parties.” AS

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