Ethiopia “kidnaps” chief rebel negotiators in Kenya (ST)

January 29th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

An Ethiopian rebel group on Tuesday alleged that the Ethiopian intelligence services have abducted two senior rebel officials from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) said in a statement on Tuesday that their chief negotiators, Sulub Abdi Ahmed and Ali Hussein (who is also known as Ali Dheere), were kidnapped late on Monday.

The two rebel leaders had been staying in Nairobi to attend a third-round peace talks with Ethiopian government as negotiators, according to the ONLF.

The allegations could not be verified independently and Ethiopian officials were not available for comment on Tuesday.

The separatist group said the actions of the Ethiopian government’s agents will have a huge affect on the ongoing Kenyan-mediated peace efforts to bring about a lasting solution to conflict in Ethiopia’s Ogaden Region.

“This heinous act constitutes a breach of confidence in dealing with Ethiopia and will gravely hamper any further talks with Ethiopia”, the ONLF said.

“This cowardly act, will further invigorate the quest of the Somalis in Ogaden for freedom”, the statement adds.

The group called up on the Kenyan government to urgently apply diplomatic pressure on Addis Ababa so that the abducted ONLF officials are swiftly freed.

“We call upon the Kenyan government, which took the responsibility to be a neutral venue, and as a facilitator to investigate fully this travesty and request the Ethiopian government to return the abductees”, the statement said.

Ethiopia launched military offences against the ONLF after the group took responsibility for an attack on a Chinese-run oil exploration field in April 2007 that killed 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese workers.

The Ogaden rebel group has since been designated as a terrorist entity by Ethiopia, which is a key regional ally of the US in its so-called global “war on terror”.

Ogaden, which covers majority of Ethiopia’s eastern Somali Region has been a conflict zone between ONLF and government forces.

Ethiopia says the group has been defeated and it no longer is a threat in the region, which borders neighbouring Somalia where Ethiopian troops are fighting Al-Qaida allied Al-Shabaab.

Since Ethiopia staged offences in the Ogaden region, international rights groups have accused Addis Ababa’s Special forces of committing abuses in the region, with some right groups referring to the situation in Ogadan as the “Darfur of Ethiopia”.

Ethiopia has repeatedly dismissed the allegations.

  1. Sam
    | #1

    This news, or no news, is very confusing. It reads “Ethiopia says the group has been defeated and it no longer is a threat in the region.” If ONLF is no longer a threat why Kenya is mediating between the group and the Ethiopian government? If ONLF as the article states has been “designated as a terrorist entity by Ethiopia” how do we believe the on-going mediating is really happening? According to the article this is a third round of talk to take place if not the two guys mentioned were not abducted. I really do not know what is going on, but the news authenticity is questionable. If Kenya is the mediator for peace talks it is hard to imagine the Ethiopian security forces snatch the two without concern how Kenya reacts. This happened Monday night Kenya might wake up to the news. And if true acts to free the two might ensue. But my gut tells me this is a fabricated news. ONLF exists because there are few individuals who want it exist because they live far away from having any danger in their lives. Where it matters having presence in Somalia region, ONLF is practically non-existent. When North America or European living individuals are no longer there to make the shot, well, the sky is falling.

  2. Ali Jaamaa
    | #2

    I don’t know what to make out of this claim. This group as was the case with other narrow minded groups such as OLF is going asunder. It has been bleeding itself to extinction. And that is what is going to happen to all other bigoted groups including the blood stained TPLF sooner or later. This brainchild of the late Ziad Barre and concocted by his navy admiral was spat out by my proud Issa tribe a long time ago. Now the remaining marauders from this group may choose to join whatever left of the religious extremists such as Al-Shabaab. I would not be surprised if the remnants of similar groups such as the OLF who are having inherent internal problems staying together seen going religious and extremists. They are coming to a full circle to face their fateful ending. That is exactly what will happen to our boys in TPLF also. That is why they are busy these days talking about ‘upgrading’ their cash cow ‘EPRDF’ from a ‘front’ to a ‘political party’. What a fraud on steroids!!!!

  3. ሰበቡ
    | #3

    ድርድሩን ለመቅጨት ራሳቸው ያደረጉት ነው:: ወያኔ ድርድር ላይ ቁጭ ብላ: በሰው አገር ተደራዳሪዎችን ጠልፋ ወሰደች የሚል ዜና: በሬው ወለደ ማለት ይመስላል:: አላመንኩትም በበኩሌ::

  4. henock tefrera
    | #4

    This ppl they r trying to disturb our democracy. They got a lot in number,even here in kenya.so once they r looking to fight with ppl who wear Ethiopian flag t shirt or anything represent our country, if they c u they gone swear u or abusive language they use.anyway they can’t win a freedom with violence. Their top officials must teach them manner. But I never heard the claim they r saying about ..

  5. Tatek
    | #5

    Why would you choose to headline the news by saying definitively “Ethiopia “kidnaps” chief rebel negotiators in Kenya” while it is an allegation by said group itself? Thats poor reporting

  6. Tenkolegnaw Woyane
    | #6

    Henok Tefera,

    Which democracy you talk about? If you are living abroad, please ask any body who is better than you the meaning of DEMOCRACY. But, if you are living in Eth., continue to listen the lecture of TPLF about your democracy and remain dumb and SILICHA and Ignite rock. Democracy and Woyanes are never meet at one point like a Parallel line. You can understand what a parallel line if you have completed 7th grade mathematics class according to the middle of 1960EC syllabus of the then Ministry of Education and Fine Arts. Otherwise, you graduated from the DEDEBIT night school of the Woyanes where mind less people are completed through lowering their consciousness level

  7. mohamad
    | #7

    SAM sai

    “ONLF is practically non-existent.”

    Dream camarade dream .The will for freedom never die. 2 kidnapped, 2 others replace.

  8. Worku tesfaye
    | #8

    Any war has no winner.it is how much human or material lost from each side during fought.
    What ever Ethiopian govt saying onlf is defeated or no longer,ze best solution will be negotiate and agreement.
    Success achevied by lost human live on 21 century is ?shame,
    ze leaders of rebel or ze leader of et gov are ?

  9. WSLF
    | #9

    The biggest ignorance is who ONLF representing ? They are a few thugs who are leftover from Said Barre in 1984. They do not represent Somalis of Somali Region. The sad part is that EPRDF is deliberately doing to create chaos so that they stay on power. In 1977, Said Barre has formed this group while he killed 80 commanders of WSLF that believes the issue of Somali of Ethiopia would be solved within Ethiopia. ONLS’s chairman was a criminal who was working under the regime of Barre for twenty one years as admiral. He did not have clue about Ethiopia. Currently, ONLF and its surrogate regime in Somali region has set up what they called ” Liyu Police ” to maim , kill and force other ethnic groups. EPRDF is doing this mistake so that they could stay in power forever. That is why they put Abdi in power and he will kill every body. ESAT is even entertaining this political blunder that ONLF is the right organization. Please go and do your homework before you lumped all Somalis as separatist.

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