ADDIS ABABA (Halbeeg News) – Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has lauded Ethiopian Prime Minister’s reforms months after the group inked peace deal with the Ethiopian government.
In a statement, the group said the Prime minister had pushed through democratic reforms in an effort to end the longstanding conflict in Ethiopia.
“We Africans don’t normally appreciate the good effort of our leaders. However, ONLF recognizes the real, credible and positive democratic change that is happening in Ethiopia. This change is attributed to the open-minded PM of Ethiopia, Abiy, ONLF calls all to protect it,” the statement reads in part.
ONLF has also pledged support for the government of Somali Regional state in Ethiopia.
“The Somali Regional state today is the most peaceful area in the Horn of Africa due to the determined efforts of ONLF and H.E Abiy’s Government. The spoiler will not succeed in derailing the peace and stability achieved,” the group said.
The ONLF was among two other groups that were removed by parliament from the list of banned movements – part of a reform drive being led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has extended an olive branch to dissidents.
On August 12, ONLF declared a unilateral ceasefire and some of its members have returned to Ethiopia. However, this is the first formal peace talk between ONLF and the Ethiopian government.
The group whose base was in Ethiopia’s neighbouring Eritrea for decades had staged a deadly attack against Ethiopian forces in the past and claiming its armed operations were meant to defend Somalis in Ethio-Somali region.
In 2007, Ethiopian forces waged a large-scale offensive against them after the group attacked a Chinese-run oil facility, killing 74 people.
China’s GCL-Poly Petroleum Investments has been developing two gas fields since 2013.