18th February 2019 (hornnews24) – The largest and last remaining rebel group in Ethiopia, known as Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has laid down arms after signing a peace deal deal with the Ethiopia’s Somali Region on Friday.
The Ogden National Liberation Front which has fought for the secession of the gas-rich Somali Region will now cease all hostilities against the Ethiopian government while its armed wings will be disbanded.
Since its establishment in 1984, the ONLF has been fighting for the self-determination and autonomy of Somalis in the Ogaden region. It was one of the three rebel groups that had been labelled as “terrorist” by the Ethiopian government until Abiy Ahmed became prime minister on April 2, 2018. In July, the Ethiopian parliament removed ONLF from “terrorist” list.
ONLF had claimed responsibility for several attacks against government targets. In 2007 the front attacked a Chinese petroleum exploration site in Ogaden, killing 74 people – 65 Ethiopians and 9 Chinese nationals.
Combatants of the ONLF were warmly welcomed in Jigjiga, the capital of the Somali region in Eastern Ethiopia, as officials described the new development as ‘good news’ for the people of the Somali region.