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Friday, 22 June 2007

ONLF's reply to Seyoum Mesfin

Tedla Asfaw
The June 20, 2007 ONLF letter to Seyum Mesfin’s June19, 2007 letter is farsighted and covers all human right violations, abuses and killing in Ogaden and the rest of Ethiopia.

For some of us who know the Ogaden we did not hesitate to expose the economical, cultural and political neglect of this proud people for centuries and wait until foreign journalists like the NYT(June, 2007)article that angered Seyum Mesfin. Similar articles some in fact more critical were written by many Ethiopians and Somalis which the government ignored and boasting as the first to bring ethnic harmony by its famous article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution.

Our generation knowledge of Ogaden is limited to the wars fought between Siad Barre and previous Somalia dictators and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and dictator Mengistu of Ethiopia which sow the seed of suspicion between Somalis and others and made many of shy away to tell the story from Ethiopian Somali side.

After the fall of Mengistu the Ogaden Somalis aspiration of self rule got another chance and like OLF and other nationalist movements join the transitional government and what they got is TPLF’s wing of Somalis and Oromos and the so called article 39 is just ruling by proxies.

The ONLF aspiration to improve the lives of its region by exploiting its natural resources if not economic freedom and then what and giving away their land for foreign companies with objections from the inhabitants led to the death of locals and foreign nationals and the ongoing detention and killing of many Ogaden Somalis.

The ONLF has also reached to other Ethiopian opposition movements and formed an alliance called AFD and coordinating military actions with OLF against the security forces of TPLF who are terrorizing their regions and also active in the struggle for the elected leaders of Kinijit and other parties to be released without preconditions immediately and start the national reconciliation.

ONLF believes in a democratic process open to all groups including the regime in power and however it will not kneel down by any brute force and neither believes to dominate its region by military force.