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By ARGAW ASHINEPosted Tuesday, January 3 2012 at 09:52
Ethiopia's oldest armed rebel group Oromo Liberation Front(OLF) has allegedly announced the abolishment of its long held secession agenda and says it will now fight for unity and freedom.
Political commentators analysing what would be a remarkable and significant move in Ethiopian politics say it could potentially further weight the opposition to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government.
The rebel group was established in the late 1960s and was recently together with Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda designated as a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.
"The new OLF political programme will accept the new federal democratic republic of Ethiopia that will work for the betterment (sic) of all of its citizens, neighbouring countries and international communities," a statement released by the OLF National Council partly read.
"The OLF National Council also focused on the timely demand of working with other democratic forces in forming the new Ethiopia that will guarantee and protect the fundamental rights of all peoples in Ethiopia," it added.
The former rebel group expressed its readiness to work closely with other political organisations to topple Mr Meles. It was not immediately clear if the new position enjoys wide endorsement.
During its extraordinary conference held on Monday in Minnesota in the US, which is the home of thousands of ethnic Oromo, the group launched its revised political position which envisages unity.
Change core ideology
OLF leader General Kemal Gelchu said through an online video message that OLF has decided to change its core ideology and would instead fight for justice and democracy in Ethiopia.