Monday, June 08, 2009

ONLF Warns of New Attacks Against Foreign Oil Companies in Ethiopia

Mon, Jun 08, 2009 13:25 UT

Ogaden rebels warn of new attacks against foreign oil companies in Ethiopia

June 4, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) — The Ethiopian Ogaden rebel movement warned foreign oil companies to refrain from exploring at Ethiopia’s promising potential source of oil, the Ogaden region or face consequences of attack.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in a statement on Wednesday said that, any attempt by foreign oil companies to explore at the region will be considered as collaboration with government’s ongoing atrocities up on the Ogaden people.

The rebels accuse the foreign oil companies of destroying the livelihood of the local population, using oil search as a means, there by causing massive displacement, hunger and thus indirectly assisting what the ONLF claims to be an ethnic cleansing campaign by Ethiopian authorities.

"Oil firms recently had cleared some 1,600 square kilometers, displacing thousands of locals, destroying vegetation and severely endangering the vulnerable ecology of the region." The statement alleged.

According to the rebel group, the foreign oil ventures are guarded by mechanized Ethiopian Army troops who make fortifications and forcefully evict the local population by killings, rape, detention and destruction of property.

The ONLF rebels thus were viewing these companies as "accomplices to the Ethiopian regimes crimes," the statement added.

"This being the reality on ground the front left no alternative but to take all measures necessary to protect the inalienable rights of the Ogaden people." It added.

On April, 2007, members of the ONLF attacked a Chinese-run oil field in Abole, Somali region, killing approximately 65 Ethiopians and 9 Chinese nationals.

Founded in 1984, The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) fights seeking autonomy for the ethnically Somali Ogaden region.


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