ONLF Seizes Hilala Gas Field – By Jason McLure May 30 (Bloomberg)

May 30th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopian rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front said they have seized the Hilala gas field in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region. (more…)

Ethiopian rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front said they have seized the Hilala gas field in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region.

“Troops of the regime abandoned the field after being surrounded by our forces and determining their chances for survival were slim,” the ethnic Somali separatist group said in a statement e-mailed to reporters late yesterday. “Those troops were given safe passage out of Hilala fields.” There were no casualties, the group said.

The government denied the attack on the field, which is Ethiopia’s most promising oil or gas find to date. “It is an absolute lie,” said Shimeles Kemal, a spokesman for the government, in a phone interview today in the capital, Addis Ababa. “They keep on fabricating rumors and unsubstantiated allegations to create an atmosphere of tension and terror. They don’t have any area under control.”

Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd., also known as Petronas, paid $80 million for the rights to Hilala and the neighboring Calub field in 2007, the Reporter newspaper said in September of that year. The two fields are estimated to contain 4 trillion cubic feet of gas and are located about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) southeast of the capital, the Addis Ababa-based newspaper said.

The rebel group said it welcomed a report earlier this year that Petronas had suspended work in the region.

“The field has been abandoned by Petronas a week ago,” said Abdurahman Mahdi, a spokesman for the group, speaking in a phone interview today from the U.K. “The army was still there so we decided to attack them.”

–Editors: Bruce Stanley, Hellmuth Tromm
To contact the reporter on this story: Jason McLure in Addis Ababa at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at

  1. Netsanet Zegeye
    | #1

    Groups of separatist movement, groups of sectarian movement, groups of ethnic movement, and any other denominators of such divisive movements should come to their conscience and sit down for peaceful discussion to give birth for an Ethiopia wherein all her citizens will be treated equally in a new form of harmony. Otherwise, EPRDF will remain in power doing whatever pleases its eccentric interests. We have to realize that we have been fooled enough for the last 20 years to the extent of becoming country-less nomadic citizens on the planet Earth. Irritating.

  2. Dagimawi
    | #2

    Good Job OLNF!!!! Bertu! ,,,We are behined you!! We have to remove these cancers from Ethiopia

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    Bravo ONLF!

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    woyane should be attacked from different angles. we should not be scared because ONLF is separatist, woyane works only for its sake. It doesn’t care for a single Ethiopian

  5. kassahun
    | #5

    The result of out of control dictatorship.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    ONLF, GTLF, TTLF, SLPF, GTRF, etc etc what ever you call yourself, unless you unite and fight the ethno fascist woyane, you won’t see the light of day on your own. Wake up guys, get real and don’t waste your time.
    Meles and Esayas of Shabia were instrumental in creating mpst of these ”ethnic freedom fighters”. Melse is now laughing sitting in Menelik,s palace and watching these guys knocking each othrer out.

  7. Oromia
    | #7

    Bravo ONLF!!!

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    #3, there is nothing bravo about this, tribalism only causes death and distractions and human sufferings. If this continues as Issayass and Meles intended it to be, we end up like lawless country like Somalia. This is probably a work of Meles to take the attention away from the current fake election.

    Death and misery to all separatist hateful groups that are working hard to breakup Ethiopia.

  9. aiker ewnetu
    | #9

    How money years tif and kiling them citizns
    the corabted mafia gebernment

  10. ተበዱ
    | #10

    bravo bravo kill woyane everyday, kill them all

  11. Balageru
    | #11

    Is that mistake or its me,the guy is giving an interview from the UK.

  12. Drama
    | #12

    the onlf liberation front is a fake separatist group created by eprdf and the west. they themselves create the crisis every now and then and print it in the media, so they have a supporting evidence to say there is ethnic problems is ethiopia and we believe it. it is all a big crime perpertrated on our country.

  13. Anonymous
    | #13

    #10–For sure Melese doesn’t put Woyanes in the front line to be killed; it is other ethnic Ethiopians who are being scarified for nothing–in Eritrea, Somalia and Ogaden. This is another form of genocide being committed on Ethiopian people by Melesse regime. The most hateful and the master mind of Evil–Isayass is the one who created groups like OLF, ONLF, TPLF, and other separatist groups to breakup Ethiopia. These separatist groups of people have nothing in their minds, day in day out, but hate and distraction towards other ethnic group, specially Amharas. Amharas have never benefited or treated any better by any Ethiopian leader in the past, and yet, they have been escape goat for all the hateful groups. The separatist groups have been highly misinformed and brainwashed by Issayass and Melesse for decades. Unfortunately, they have adapted and believed the hate sermon that came out of the two evil cousins–Issayass and Melese. Sadly and shamefully, because of the level of hate that has been instilled in them, the separatist groups are ready to die and kill their fellow Ethiopians at any given moment. If we become one group of people–all 80 millions of us with equality and respect, we can do great things for our country and defeat our enemy, regardless who that might be… Egyptians, Eritreans, Somalians, Sudanese or Woyanes ,etc. —-these countries want Ethiopia to breakup for their gain–please come to your senses and spend your energy to bring Ethiopia to the 21st. Century.

  14. blisuuma
    | #14

    viva onlf. keep fighting for your peoples right. millions in thier respective ethinic line to follow you. only gun that can knock out the monkey in the palace

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