Sep 19, 2018

Ogaden: New Round of Peace Talks with Ethiopian Government

Members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Eritrea’s Federal Communication Minister and the Ethiopian government met for a new round of peace talks on 18 September 2018, in Asmara. The talks included acknowledging the need to collaborate in order to address specific issues, such as integration in the Horn of Africa, while protecting the interests of peoples in the region. Although such talks can be seen as a positive step in dialogue between the two parties, the Ethiopian government has yet to recognize the Ogadeni right to self-determination, guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution.

The article below was published by Africa News:

Meskel tweeted information from a statement issued by ONLF after the meeting, indicating that ‘the parties reached a common understanding on the issues discussed’.

‘‘They agreed to work together peacefully to protect the interests of the people of the Somali Region and collaborate on national issues including the future of Horn of Africa integration,’‘ read part of the ONLF statement.

The Ethiopian delegation included Ahmed Shide, Federal communication minister & Chairman of the Somali People’s Democratic Party while the ONLF team was led by its chairman Admiral Mohamed Omar.

ONLF’s push for self-determination

ONLF, a separatist group established in 1984, had been labeled a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government, until recently when parliament passed a resolution removing three organisations including Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Patriotic Ginbot 7 (PG7) off the list.

ONLF has since declared a ceasefire and is now having formal talks with the Ethiopian government.

This week, ONLF’s foreign secretary, Ahmed Yassin Abdi told Bloomberg News that the organisation ‘will demand a referendum on self-determination’.

‘‘We want to achieve self-determination recognized by international law under the current Ethiopian constitution,” Abdi was quoted as saying.

Photo courtesy of VOA News.