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A second round of peace talks between Ethiopia’s government and a rebel group aimed at ending a decades-old conflict in the country’s largest region Oromiya has ended without a deal, both sides said on Tuesday.

The negotiations in Tanzania between the government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) followed talks in April and May that also failed to produce an agreement.

The OLA is an outlawed splinter group of a formerly banned opposition party that returned from exile in 2018. Its grievances are rooted in the alleged marginalisation and neglect of people in Oromiya, which surrounds the capital, Addis Ababa.

The violence in Oromiya has killed hundreds of people in the past few years and been one of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s main security headaches since the end of a two-year civil war in the northern Tigray region last year.

“Due to the intransigence of the other party, the talks have come to an end without an agreement,” Redwan Hussien, Abiy’s national security adviser, said in a post on social media site X. “The obstructive approach and unrealistic demands of the other party are the principal reasons why these talks could not succeed.”

According to Redwan Hussien, Minister, PM National security advisor stated on media site X that ‘The Government of FDRE with a desire to end the suffering that has been occasioned due to the conflict in some parts of Oromia region has been engaging in peace talks with Shene/OLF-OLA.The two rounds of talks have come to an end without an agreement.’

Redwan Hussien stated that ‘The GoE regrets this unfortunate turn of events.The FDRE Government will like to thank all the facilitators and observers who have devoted their time, energy and resource in pursuit of peace. Our thaks also goes to the Government of Tanzania for hosting the two round of talks.’

In a statement, OLA accused the government of failing to address the “fundamental problems that underlie the county´s seemingly insurmountable security and political challenges”.

The East African trade bloc IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) said on Wednesday it was “optimistic” about further talks. Its executive secretary Workneh Gebeyehu appealed to the parties “to uphold their commitment to the peace process in the best interest of the people of Ethiopia”.

“IGAD will continue to remain seized of the situation and stands ready to provide unwavering support to both sides in their pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the situation,” the statement said.

Source: Al Jazeera

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