The exiled Ethiopian opposition group, Ginbot 7, has declared its support for the reconciliation call by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The Eritrea-based rebel group’s statement came shortly after Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki announced his intention to seek peace with Ethiopia on Wednesday.
The two countries have been in a “no peace, no war” stand off for the past 17 years, following a bloody and inconclusive border war between them.
The group’s spokesman, Tadesse Biru said: ‘‘Armed struggle wasn’t in our best interest from the beginning; rather the un-enabling political environment in Ethiopia forced us to pursue insurgence.
‘‘Ginbot 7 never fired a bullet and any that were fired were intended to defend ourselves, not to overthrow the government and take power.’’
The new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy has promised to scrap the strategy the government has previously pursued against opposition forces.
As a result, Mr Tadesse says Ginbot 7 will return home if Abiy’s government continues its path of eliminating repressive laws and building democratic institutions.