Ahmed Abdi | February 10, 2015
Ogaden and Ethiopia had agreed to meet in Nairobi again to resume the peace talks that stalled in October 17, 2012, following ONLF’s refusal to accept a precondition imposed by Ethiopian negotiation team, which was a violation to initial agreement according to a report by Ogaden Today Press.
The news follows days of fighting in Ogaden region at Sagag District and Suban-balal and Bod’ano, the outskirts of the Southern Ogaden town of Gode.
Representatives from Ogaden Nation Liberation Front (ONLF) and Ethiopia government are already in Nairobi and the talks may resume within this week, Dhanaan Media, a pro-Ethiopian Site said Sunday.
Citing from reliable sources , the site said the talks that will resume this week may end decades of conflict in the Ogaden region since it is different from previous talks because international negotiators intended to participate in and the experiences gained from the past talks.
But an Ogadeni activist in South Africa is pessimistic over the peace talks,”any peace talk that ONLF engages with the Ethiopia government will be fruitless,” said Mowlid Sharif. “President of Ogaden regional State, Abdi Mohamud Omar, and Tigray Commander in Harar,General Abraha Woldemariam, wanted the talks to end up without any results, since any peace talks with the ONLF could be a threat to their personal interests in the region.”
However, there are hundreds of thousands that fled from Ogaden, of whom 101,850 are registered with UNHCR in Dabaab, Kenya and Sanaa, Yemen.Around 100 families from Ogaden live in Al-Kharez Refugee in South of Yemen, registered with UN as refugees from Somalia.
Human rights Watch has accused the Ethiopian government of systematically cracking down on media ahead of the May 2015 election.
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF) said its February press release , ” the only outcome of Ethiopian election is publicity for the regime as if there is legitimate of election process, while the reality is harassment, arrest, poisoning, and even murdering opposition candidates and members.” http://sidamaliberation-front.org/SLF_Stance_on_The_Upcoming__Election_In_Ethiopia.pdf.
ONLF was founded in 1984, and it has been engaging army struggle with the Ethiopian troops stationed in Ogaden since 1994, after the Ethiopian government cracked down its members following after the first ever legitimate Ogaden Parliament overwhelmingly voted yes for self-determination.
Ogaden borders Djibouti, Oromia, Kenya and Somalia. The people are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The region was Italian and English-colony but in 1954, the English handed over Ethiopia.
Ahmed Abdi is a freelance journalist and has produced an enormous series of publications across dozens of local, regional and international news portals.