An exiled Ethiopian opposition party from the country’s restive Oromiya region said it had held talks with the government, a tentative step in its aim of returning to the political fold.
The talks on Friday and Saturday followed pledges by Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, to push through democratic reforms in the wake of unrest, mainly in the Oromiya region, that threatened the ruling coalition’s tight hold on Africa’s second most populous nation.
The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) was formed in 2013 by former members of the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and seeks self-determination for ethnic Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group. ODF leaders have been living in exile in Europe and North America since the early 1990s when OLF turned against the ruling coalition and was designated a “terrorist“ group by the government.
“A high-level delegation of the government ... and a delegation of the Oromo Democratic Front held a fruitful discussion, from May 11-12, 2018, regarding the reforms currently unfolding in Ethiopia,” the group said in a statement.