Thousands of Ethiopians hail return of once-banned Oromo group

Thousands of Ethiopians hail return of once-banned Oromo group
Supporters celebrate in Addis Ababa as the leadership of the Oromo Liberation Front returns from exile.

OLF and two other organisations were removed from a list of terror groups earlier this year [Mulugeta Ayene/AP]

(aljazeera)—-Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Ethiopia‘s capital to welcome leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the latest members of a formerly-banned rebel group to return home following a string of political reforms in the country.

The jubilant crowd waving OLF flags gathered at Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square on Saturday, where a large concert was held to welcome the group’s leader Dawud Ibsa and others, while similar events were held in Ethiopia’s Oromia region.

“I am happy to be here after 26 years of struggle from outside of Ethiopia,” Ibsa said. “We will be a part of the peaceful struggle,” he added.

“We have been struggling to bring the changes that we are seeing now in Ethiopia. We are now seeing positive signs that include the respect for rule of law. That’s why we came here,” said Ibsa.

Earlier on Saturday, nearly 1,500 OLF fighters returned from neighbouring Eritrea.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – who, in April, the first Oromo to hold the post – has introduced a number of reforms since assuming office, as well as overseen the release of jailed dissidents, the unblocking of websites and moves to liberalise the economy.

WBO Yeroo gara Oromiyaa deemuuf gaggaaffamu ture.
Hawaasti Ertiriyaa Fulbaana 14 akkanaan gaggeesse.

መስከረም 05/2011 ዓ/ም
የኦነግ ኣባላት ዛሬ በመቐለ ከተማ ደማቅ የኣቀባበል ሥነ ስርዓት ተደረገላቸው፡፡

የኦነግ ኣባላት በመቐለ ከተማ ሲደርሱ የመቐለ ከተማ ኖዋሪዎችና ከፍተኛ የመንግስት ኃላፍዎች በተገኝበት ደማቅ የኣቀባበል ሥነ ስርዓት እና የምሳ መስተንግዶ ተደረገለቸው፡፡

ትናንትና ዛሬ በዛለምበሳና ዓዲግራት ከተማ ተመሳሳይ የኣቀባበል ሥነ ስርዓት ተከናውነዋል፡፡