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The rebellion was quickly subdued, but has continued to smoulder ever since.During the 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea the OLF was allied with Asmara.It was controversially ratified by the parliament last Friday even though activists continue to claim it failed to garner the necessary figures.The speaker of parliament has since apologized for the mix up in computing the votes.The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the current ruling party in Ethiopia, was formed in January 1989 and an Oromo journal claims it set out to gain new recruits from captured Oromo conscripts who had been forced into the Derg’s army, to create the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO).Most of the Oromo abroad and the intellectual leadership, in contrast, were pro-OLF.
The term Oromia, signifying an independent Oromo state, is important to the Oromo allowing them to consolidate their various regional and related groups into one Oromo nation.
The OLF has competed with other militant organizations for popular support, including the Oromo People’s Liberation Front and the Islamic Front for the Liberation of the Oromo, sometimes generating intra-group violence.
The government has frequently pointed to OLF actions, or its mere existence, as reason enough to suppress the broader Oromo population.
The protestors objected to plans by the government to annex lands held by Oromo farmers to expand the urban areas of the capital.
In January 2016, in an apparent victory for protestors, the government announced it would cancel the controversial expansion plans.