ADDIS ABABA, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Splits emerged inside Ethiopia's ruling coalition Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) on Wednesday with the coalition's oldest member Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) criticizing "fundamental flaws" in political and economic decisions made earlier this month by EPRDF Executive Committee.
EPRDF is made up of four parties, Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), Southern Ethiopia People Democratic Movement (SEPDM), Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM).
On June 5, the Executive Committee of EPRDF decided to accept fully the December 2000 Algiers peace agreement with arch-rival Eritrea and to privatize key economic sectors of Ethiopia.
A border dispute between Ethiopia and its northern neighbor Eritrea led to a bloody two years border war between 1998-2000, which killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides.
Since then, the two countries are engaged in a state of armed standoff along their common border punctuated occasionally by sporadic small-scale clashes.
Ethiopia has until now insisted on the need for negotiations with Eritrea to come first before implementing the Algiers peace agreement, including negotiations on the flashpoint border town of Badme controlled by Ethiopia but awarded to Eritrea.
Eritrea for its part had insisted the border demarcation has to be done first before any talks on normalizing of ties is held.
Badme is currently located in Tigray regional state currently ruled by TPLF, and the decision to cede the town to Eritrea has caused angry protests among the population in Tigray.
The EPRDF Executive Committee had also decided to extend mixed ownership or outright full privatization of state-owned enterprises such as railway projects, sugar development, industrial parks, hotels and other manufacturing industries.
The decision has reportedly caused "rifts" within EPRDF, with some senior party members fearing the "developmental state" model which emphasizes state-led capitalism is being replaced by "neo-liberal" economic policies.