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The Ethiopian Government and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) held Peace talks in Kenya

Tigrai Online Sept 07, 2012

Delegates from the Ogaden National Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government held talks in Nairobi, Kenya on the September 6th and 7th 2012, facilitated by a Kenyan team designated by the President of Kenya, H.E. Mwai Kibaki. Mr Abdirahman Mahdi, the Foreign Secretary of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, led the ONLF delegation from the Somalis in Ogaden. The Ethiopian delegation was led By the Defence Minister of Ethiopia H.E. Siraj Fegessa. H.E. Mohamed Yusuf Haji, the Minister of State and Ag Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security of Kenya led the facilitation team.

After exchanging opening statements presented by the head of the delegations, the two sides agreed on the modalities of the negotiation process, the general principles that would be the basis of resolving the conflict and the initial agenda, with the facilitation of the Kenyan team.

The general principles agreed upon that would be the basis for resolving the conflict:

  • The general principles agreed upon that would be the basis for resolving the conflict is:
  • Formal negotiations between the Ethiopian government and Ogaden National Liberation Front shall be held to resolve the conflict;
  • The common goal of the afore mentioned negotiations shall be the attainment of a just and lasting peace;
  • Such negotiations shall be comprehensive and address the substantive issues that are the root causes of the conflict;
  • The holding of negotiations must be in accordance with mutually acceptable principles and no preconditions shall be made to negate the inherent character and purpose of the peace negotiations.
  • The substantive agenda of the peace negotiations shall include issues that will facilitate the implementation of any peace agreement;
  • Both parties shall agree to specific measures of goodwill and confidence building in order to create a favourable climate for the negotiations.
  • Finally, the parties agreed on the date of the next meeting to be held in Kenya

The above statement is posted on the ONLF website today Sept. 08, 2012

Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon is quoted by Bloomberg saying “It’s a very positive step and we will pursue negotiations up to the last and try to bring all concerned in that area to the constitutional framework,”

Tigrai Online Comment:
We think this is great news for Ethiopia and Ethiopians. If both the government and the rebels can find common ground and solve the conflict and start the real fight against the real enemy of Ethiopia; poverty, Ethiopia would be a middle income country before we know it. The Ethiopian people and government should welcome any group who chooses peace over guns. Another faction of the ONLF signed a peace agreement with the governmet in October 2010.

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