12 January 2018

Ethiopia: Soldiers Charged With Terror Plot

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia's Federal Attorney General on Thursday filed terror-related charges against five Ethiopian soldiers.

The soldiers are accused of conspiring to recruit potential members for the banned rebel group Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

OLF, proscribed as a terror group by the Ethiopian government, claims to fight for the rights of ethnic Oromos who make up about 33 percent of Ethiopia's 100-million population.

The rebel group, which has been engaged in armed struggle since the 1980s, has in recent years faded from public view, weakened by defections and internal fractures.

The Ethiopian government has alleged that OLF is supported by its archrival and neighboring country Eritrea.

Eritrea in turn accuses Ethiopia of supporting Eritrean rebel groups and running an international campaign to isolate the Red Sea nation.

Since Eritrea's independence following a referendum in 1993, the two nations have been locked in a hostile border dispute, which resulted in a bloody border war between 1998 and 2000 that killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides.

Since then, the common border between Eritrea and Ethiopia has had an uneasy calm punctuated with periodic armed standoffs. Xinhua

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