O.N.L.F. Statement On Military Operation.
April 24, 2007 “” Before dawn this morning At 0430 AM local time in Ogaden, the ‘Dufaan’ commando unit of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) conducted a military operation in the vicinity of Obala, 30km North-West of Degah-Bur in in Northern Ogaden. (more…)
April 24, 2007 “” Before dawn this morning At 0430 AM local time in Ogaden, the ‘Dufaan’ commando unit of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) conducted a military operation in the vicinity of Obala, 30km North-West of Degah-Bur in in Northern Ogaden. The operation targeted 3 military units of the TPLF regime who were guarding an oil exploration field. Exploration activities at the field began recently following an agreement between the Ethiopian government and a Chinese company.As part of this agreement large areas inhabited by ethnic Somalis were cleared with civilians being forcefully removed from their homes by Ethiopian troops. In addition, Ethiopian forces closed off a large area denying the local nomadic population their traditional grazing areas in order to establish a security perimeter guarded by Ethiopian troops for the oil facility.
TPLF forces in Obala have now been wiped out with many having surrendered to ONLF commandos. Nearly 400 Ethiopian troops have been wounded or killed. Explosions caused by munitions during the battle resulted in the death of a handful of Chinese oil workers. The oil facility itself has been completely destroyed.
ONLF forces rounding up Ethiopian military prisoners following the battle came across 6 Chinese workers. They have been removed from the battlefield for their own safety and are being treated well.
The ONLF has stated on numerous occasions that we will not allow the mineral resources of our people to be exploited by this regime or any firm that it enters into an illegal contract with so long as the people of Ogaden are denied their rights to self-determination.
By refusing to discuss a comprehensive political solution to the Ogaden issue in a neutral country and in the presence of a third party, the TPLF regime has made clear its intention to continue to pursue a military solution in Ogaden. As such, we wish to reaffirm to the international community that the Ogaden region continues to be a battle zone between armed forces of the current TPLF led regime and our liberation forces. It is not a safe environment for any oil exploration to occur.
The ONLF has informed the Chinese government in the past that it would be unwise to pursue discussions with the TPLF as it was not in a position to guarantee the safety of any firm operating in Ogaden nor was it in a position to enter into contracts with foreign companies for Oil exploration in Ogaden. Unfortunately this warning fell on deaf ears.
We urge all international oil companies to refrain from entering into agreements with the Ethiopian government as it is not in effective control of the Ogaden despite the claims it makes.
Oil investments in Ogaden will result in a similar loss for any firm that believes assurances of security it receives from the Ethiopian government which has never been in effective control of Ogaden
Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)