OROMOS LEAVE THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT

A major Ethiopian political faction said June 23 it was withdrawing from the interim government formed after Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was overthrown in May 1991.

Nedi Gemeda, a senior official of the Oromo Liberation Front, which claims to represent about 40 percent of Ethiopia's 50 million people, said the OLF also was pulling out of the transitional assembly.

The OLF walkout came after it boycotted regional elections last Sunday. It has accused the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which drove out Mr. Mengistu and dominates the government, of intimidation.

The boycott followed months of tension, sometimes leading to armed clashes, between fighters of the two groups.

Mr. Gemeda accused the EPRDF of repeatedly violating a national charter signed by the former rebel groups which overthrew Mengistu. The Oromos themselves played only a marginal role in the overthrow.

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