ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia and Kenya have agreed to jointly fight the militant groups al-Shabab and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) reported on Tuesday.
The state media said an agreement had been reached between Hilary Mutyambai, visiting inspector general of the Kenya Police, and Demelash Gebremichael, commissioner of the Ethiopia Federal Police Commission.
“The two agreed to conduct joint security missions to stem the movement of OLA and al-Shabab, particularly in the two countries’ common border areas,” ENA reported.
The security chiefs from both sides also agreed to jointly safeguard peace and security of the Ethiopia-Kenya border areas as well as upgrade their information exchange capabilities.
ENA also reported that Ethiopia and Kenya plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in less than a month to expedite their joint security operation efforts.
Al-Shabab, a militant Islamic rebel group mainly operating in conflict-wracked Somalia, has also engaged in terrorist attacks in several other east African countries.
The OLA is a breakaway faction of the ex-rebel group Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which is an opposition political party claiming to fight for the rights of ethnic Oromos who make up about 35 percent of Ethiopia’s population.
In May 2021, the Ethiopian parliament voted to designate the OLA as a terrorist group.