TPLF hardliners oppose return of former OLF members; ODF has submitted a letter at Ethiopian Embassy in DC.
(A4O, 11 February 2014) The recurrent attempts by the United States (ION 1211) and Norway for some former opponents to be allowed to return to the country have been torpedoed by the more conservative parts of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), two parties that are members of the ruling coalition Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
The idea was to persuade Addis Ababa to accept the return of a dissident group of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF, armed opposition) headed by Lencho Letta and including Dima Negewo, ahead of the general election in 2015.
Despite these misgivings, Lencho Letta is still negotiating the terms of such a return, seeking to have some members of his group given positions in the administration.
But hardliners in the Ethiopian regime will have no truck with this, as they see him as “a traitor” and especially fear that his return could weaken the OPDO.
However, a wing of the TPLF, grouped aroundDebretsion Gebremichael, current Deputy Prime Minister, seems willing to play the game so as to give a better picture of the Ethiopian government vis-à-vis Western countries.
On the other hand, the moderate Oromo opponent Merera Gudina (read here) who will take up residence in the United States for a few months this year may be able to convince other Diaspora groups to negotiate their return, as OLF dissidents are now doing.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minster Haile Mareyam Desalegn says ODF has submitted a letter for negotiation at press conference. According to PM Hailemariam, ODF [Lencho Lata]has submitted a letter at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington for negotiation to enter domestic politics and contest next election.
However, the negotiation is not started yet, according to the news source.