Tuesday August 14, 2018
ONLF rebel leaders says they returned to Ethiopia in response to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s call for peace and that they want to help stabilize the Ethiopian Somali region.
ONLF leaders after their arrival in the capital Addis Ababa Photo : Screenshot from Fana video
Three Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) Leaders have returned
to Ethiopia this morning from Eritrea, where they used to coordinate the
rebel movement they lead.
Their return came just a day after the movement declared a unilateral ceasefire and an end to any armed movement hostile to the government of Ethiopia.
Front returned home due to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s call” Adani
Abdulkadir, spokesperson of the rebel movement, told journalists.The
new Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front government has
made it customary to greet opposition leaders as they return to the
country and Deputy Communications Affairs Minister, Kassahun Goffe, has
done so to ONLF leaders upon arrival at Bole International Airport.
the question why the movement is returning to the country this fasts,
the spokesperson said: “it is to help stabilize the situation in
Last week, the organization reportedly
condemned the Ethiopian government decision to deploy defense force in
the region following what was said to be ethnic-based killings
perpetrated by radicalized youth organized by the former president of
the region Abdi Illey, currently in custody, and the region’s special
force. More than 10 Ethiopian Orthodox Churches were burned and
thousands of residents of Jijiga, Kebri Dehar and other towns in the
region were displaced.
In 2007, the rebel forces of ONLF killed
more than 74 foreigners in the oil field in the region. Subsequently,
the Ethiopian parliament designated ONLF as a terrorist organization in
2009. And last month, the parliament removed the organization from the
list of terrorist organizations.
ONLF has been fighting to secede
the Ethiopian Somali region from the rest of Ethiopia since 1984 and it
has not made it clear if the organization has dropped its secessionist
agenda or not.The party governing Ethiopian Somali region, Ethiopian Somali People’s Democratic Party, elected Ahmed Shide
who is currently serving as Federal government communications affair
minister as its new chairman following the resignation and arrest of
Abdi Mohammed Omar (Abdi Illey.)