Government signs peace deal with Benishangul People’s Liberation Front (Aug 20, 2012)

The Ethiopian government on Wednesday (August 15th) signed a peace agreement with the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), under which the BPLM agrees to end the armed struggle it has been carrying out for the past 17 years. The agreement was signed at the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa between Jafar Mustafa, deputy chairperson of the BPLM and Ato Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Federal Affairs representing the government. After the signing ceremony, Minister Shiferaw urged the group not to be distracted by any pressure from ‘anti-peace elements’ and to work towards full implementation of the deal. Jafar Mustafa assured the minister that the leadership of the movement would do its very best to fully comply with the agreement. Ahmed Nasir, President of the Benishangul Gumuz Regional State praised the agreement as an important achievement which would help speed up development activities in the region. He emphasized that the regional government would support the implementation of the agreement. The agreement was signed after two years of talks between government representatives and the BPLM leadership.