Ethiopian rebels warn Canadian firm exploring oil

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onlf-flag ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Ethiopian rebels on Monday warned a Canadian oil company against oil exploration in the country’s east and said the area is unsafe because of fighting.

Africa Oil Corporation should halt all operations until the rebels make peace with the government, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, or ONLF said. The group is blamed for the 2007 attack on a Chinese-run oil field in the region in which scores were killed.

The rebels said in a statement that the company is “conspiring with the government to exploit the region’s oil.”

“ONLF calls upon African Oil to desist from paying blood money to Ethiopia until a just settlement of the conflict is achieved and the people of the Ogaden are in a position to be masters of their wealth and interest,” the statement said.

The Ethiopian government spokesman downplayed the statement saying the region is peaceful and that the rebels don’t pose any real threat.

“The region is now fully stable and peaceful. The government and people are mobilizing together to develop the region,” said Communications Minister Shimeles Kemal.

Various ONLF factions have in the near past requested and subsequently negotiated with the government after which they have put down their arms and re-joined the people to lead a peaceful life, Shimeles said.

“They have completely lost that capacity as most of their fighters have put down their arms. Now the remaining faction’s leaders are engaged in a routine propaganda to disturb the ongoing development activities,” he said.

Africa Oil Corp. said on its website that it has three projects in Ethiopia including in the Ogaden Basin where ONLF has been fighting the Addis Ababa government.

The rebels want to create an independent state in the Ogaden region, which is inhabited by mostly ethnic Somalis. Peace talks between ONLF and Ethiopians government in neighboring Kenya ended in disagreement in October.

Source – Miami Herald


  1. I thank you ‘zeHabesha’ for making me laugh.
    This terrorist organization is weakened than ever before, the Somali people at large turn its face to bring peace and stability in the region. They are actually benifiting from the growth and development in the region.
    It is now the Somali people it self not the Ethiopian government this former rebel and current terrorist organization. We have seen recently many of its leaders are surrendering themselves to Ethiopian government…

  2. ONLF are elements of people that come from proper Somalia as a pasturalist to graze thier cuttle then go to thier respective place now they cliam the land as if it is their’s how ever that will remian in their dreams for ever. they must undrestand that how our father fought so bravely to shape the present Ethiopia or refer Ethiopian history before attempting something unworthy that cost them something unbearable. the Ethiopian government should not fight them with conventional military simply the governemt should draw people from nation and nationalities of Ethiopia to over see this part of Ethiopia in the meantime the rest of the people will know the importance of it.

  3. There will be no need for ethnic liberation fronts if there is freedom, democracy and justice for all. The experience of Tigre people liberation front and shabia has shown that these so called ‘liberation’ fronts are brutal fascists who will do anything to remain in power once they get there. They continue to live in the same way they lived in the jungle, by killing and looting and dividing people by inciting ethnic,racial and religious hatred among people.

  4. You are all dreaming , you need to wake up. Ogaden people will librate their land from Ethiopian and no one can drille our oil and can take it away.

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