O.N.L.F Statement in Response to Melez Zenawis Press Conference Remarks
Addis Ababa (Alshahid) – A claim made by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Melez Zenawi at his most recent press conference that his regime will “soon sign an agreement” with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has no basis in reality and is intended to mislead the international community in general and foreign oil firms in particular. The ONLF wishes to make clear that we have not been, and currently are not, in discussions with this regime.
The ONLF has maintained a principled position that any negotiations with this regime
can only take place under the auspices of the international community in a neutral venue with a third neutral party mediator.
This regime has consistently refused neutral third party mediation under the auspices of
the international community. Melez Zenawi clearly seeks to create the impression that he is on the verge of reaching a political settlement to the Ogaden conflict in a bid to convince oil companies that Ogaden is no longer a war zone and divert attention from Ethiopia’s recent so-called “election” results confirming that dissent will not be tolerated by this regime, even if it is through the ballot box.
The ONLF wishes to affirm that the resolve of our people and armed forces has only strengthened as a result this regimes continued acts of collective punishment and war crimes in Ogaden. Continued extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, forced displacement of civilians, rape, torture and use of international humanitarian aid for political purposes
in Ogaden by this regime can not be concealed by misleading statements and a media blockade preventing international journalists from entering Ogaden to witness for themselves this regimes atrocities and military losses at the hands of our forces.
Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)