The Ethiopia’s government lead by the new PM has yesterday released eight some of key ONLF’s political leaders and officers, whose freedom it deprived years ago. These leaders were part of thousands of Ogaden Somalis detained whilst fighting the right of their people to self-determination. These heroes paid an ultimate price for their people as they languish for a period of time in various substandard detention centres under torture and the other appalling conditions. Their selfilsess sacrifices for their people won’t be forgotten for generations to come.
Although releasing them is a positive step in the right direction, still millions of Somali people are in open prison while, thousands are languishing in both official and undisclosed detention centres in Ogaden. Around two thousand who were released recently from the infamous jail Ogaden, were sent to quasi-slave labour camp under the disguise of rehabilitating them and forced to till land taken from the local people along the Shabelle river. The ONLF advises that the new Ethiopain government lead by Dr Abiy Ahmend speeds up the release of all prisoners of conscious whose freedom is denied; and stop any further abuses in Ogaden and Ethiopia.
Furthermore, the ONLF believes that as a new leader, the new prime minister has an opportunity to turn a new chapter by genuinely and seriously addressing the core issues that are the source of conflict and inestimable suffering that befell all corners of Horn of Africa with Ogaden and Eritrea as the Epicentre since the Second World War.
The only means through winch genuine and sustainable peace and security could be achieved is by mathematically recognising the rights of all nations to unfettered self-determination and genuine democracy in the Ethiopian Empire state. Moreover, the Ethiopian state must change the culture of violence in dealing with genuine demands of all peoples under its rule and its neighbours.
The ONLF is always open to genuine dialogue that is based on mutual respect and principled negotiation that adheres to internationally accepted norms and genuine desire to reach a win -win solution which is meant to seriously address the rightful demands of the Somali people in Ogaden, instead of attempting to achieve quick fixes for a problem that existed for almost a century, where many lives were lost on all sides.
Finally, the ONLF strongly believes that the multi-faceted conflict in Ethiopia only can be solved through the genuine participation of all stakeholders and that none shall be left out, including neighbouring countries that are affected. Similarly, if the International community involvement is to bear positive results, it must engage all stakeholders, instead of conveniently being selective and ignoring the multitude who bears the cost of the perennial conflict in Ethiopia
Ogaden shall be free. The Ethiopian people shall Genuine Democracy and peace.
Issued by ONLF