Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heavy combat between ONLF insurgents and Ethiopian forces | RBC Radio

Dhagahbur (RBC) Heavy battle between the insurgents of Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] and the Ethiopian forces has reportedly erupted at Wacays godle at the vicinity of Dhagahbur district of Western Somalia region under the Ethiopian administration.
The battle broke out after the insurgents loyal to ONLF have on Sunday ambushed a military convoy of the Ethiopian army who wear heading to Dhagahbur town killing dozen of soldiers, eyewitnesses told RBC Radio.  The ambush fighting followed by another fierce clashes between the two sides.
Both the Ethiopian fierce and the ONLF officials did not give the facts of the fighting.
Meanwhile reports from Dhagahbur district say that the Ethiopian forces launched massive arrest in the town following the ONLF insurgents assault which led to the arrest of more than 50 civilians among them young women and old men.  The mass arrest also spread to other locations including Dhagah-madow town which is few kilometers away from Dhagahbur.
The situation of the two towns were still in chaos as the Ethiopian forces imposed day and night curfew banning the movement of the people and the cars coming into the the region.  Some of the families who have escaped from the homes are still on hideout in the fear of revenge acts from the Addis Ababa government forces.
The tensions between the ONLF insurgents and the Ethiopian forces broke out just a week after the two sides failed to reach a peace deal from long awaited talks mediated by the neighboring Kenya.
The talks occurred after armed insurgents indicated they wanted to negotiate peacefully with Ethiopia but later withdrew from the talks alleging that Addis Ababa administration has put hard conditions on the table of the negotiations.
ONLF, an ethnic Somali armed opposition has been battling since 1984 to liberate the western Somali region from Addis Ababa invasion.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Peace Talks Between the ONLF and the Ethiopian Government Stall (ONA)

October 17, 2012
The second round of peace talks between the Ogaden National Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government mediated by Kenya was held in Nairobi between 15 to 17 October 2012.  Abdirahman Mahdi, ONLF Foreign Bureau Secretary,  led the ONLF delegation. The Ethiopian delegation was led by the Defense Minister Seraj Fegesa. The Kenyan government mediation team was led by Kenyan Defense Minister H.E. Mohamed Yusuf Haji. The Kenyan government hosted the talks.
The Ethiopian government requested the Kenyan government to facilitate talks with the ONLF. Then the Kenyan government approached ONLF, who accepted the invitation to engage in the process in a genuine and principled way.
In the first formal talks, the process went smoothly and the parties reached an agreement on the modalities, general principles and an agenda for the talks.
In the second round of the talks, the Ethiopian government delegation did not respect the principles agreed upon. These stated that “ the holding of negotiations must be in accordance with mutually acceptable principles and no preconditions shall be made to negate the inherent character and purpose of the peace negotiations.” Instead the Ethiopian delegation tabled a contentious issue that was a key element of the conflict, by insisting that the continuation of the talks depends on the ONLF accepting the Ethiopian constitution. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian delegation blocked any attempts for the talks to move forward by imposing this precondition.
The ONLF position on the constitution is that it must reflect the will of the people and that the Somali people never exercised a referendum on the constitution. ONLF believes that the solution of the conflict in the Ogaden can only be achieved by accepting the principles of the right to exercise their self-determination without any preconditions or restrictions.
The peace process is supposed to address differences between the two sides on all issues. The ONLF proposed that the parties continue to talk in the spirit of the initial agreement and start with confidence building measures that will lay a fruitful and conducive environment for tackling the impasse at a later stage.
The ONLF is willing to continue engaging in a principled peace process with the Ethiopian government.
Issued By ONLF

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ethiopia weapons cache smuggling ring from Sudan sparks fear of violence

Ethiopia weapons cache smuggling ring from Sudan sparks fear of violence

 | 14 October 2012 | 0 Comments
Fears grow that weapons smuggled into Ethiopia from Sudan could spark new round of violence.
ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s police and security forces have confirmed to Bikyamasr.com that they have taken control of illegal weapons that had been smuggled into the East African country from Sudan.
Police said that hundreds of illegal weapons were seized on Saturday in what they said were being smuggled in for the purpose of being used in the Eastern part of the country.
“Police have seized a total of 481 pistols and 13,000 bullets,” Fekadu Berhe of the Ethiopia’s Federal Police Media and Communication Department told Sudan Tribune.
Another police officer, who said he was part of the raid, told Bikyamasr.com that most of the smugglers have been arrested.
“We don’t know exactly the purpose of the weapons, but there are early reports that they were heading East to help rebel groups,” he said on condition of anonymity.
The smuggling has heightened fears among the Ogaden community that the seizing of the weapons could spark new violence in the eastern part of the country.
Residents in Eastern Ethiopia told Bikyamasr.com on Sunday that they are worried over the future, despite recent peace talks between the rebel groups and the government.
“Violence hasn’t really stopped and this report of weapons could be a reason to start more attacks on the area,” said one resident.

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