ONLF abandons arm struggle

Hiiraan Xog, The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) is planning to fully implement abandoning arm struggle in the forthcoming days, Somali regional leader.

In an interview with Ethiopian state-owned media, ETV, Ethio-Somali regional state leader, Mustafa Mohammed Omar said the group has agreed to fully disarm and engage in a peaceful political dialogue by totally abandoning its decades-old arm struggle strategy.

The leaders pointed out that the Front decided following a long discussion with the federal and regional authorities.

According to Omar, the group is committed to focus on peaceful political discourse wholly.

“Because of the political change in Ethiopia and they are convinced that the current condition is conducive for them to advance their political struggle peacefully. In the coming three-four days, they will fully move their force to the government and the issue will be resolved,” Mustafa said.

The ONLF was among two other groups that were removed by parliament from the list of banned movements – part of a reform driven by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has extended an olive branch to dissidents.

On August 12, ONLF declared a unilateral ceasefire, and some of its members have returned to Ethiopia.

However, this is the first formal peace talk between ONLF and the Ethiopian government.

The group whose base was in Ethiopia’s neighbouring Eritrea for decades had staged a deadly attack against Ethiopian forces in the past; claiming its armed operations were meant to defend Somalis in Ethio-Somali region.

In 2007, Ethiopian forces waged a large-scale offensive against the group after they attacked a Chinese-run oil facility, killing 74 people.
China’s GCL-Poly Petroleum Investments has been developing two gas fields in the Ethio-Somali region since 2013.

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