The Return of the top leadership
ONLF Press statement
December 1, 2018
Addis Ababa

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Speaking on behalf of Chairman Mohamed Omar Osman, ONLF Central Committee and Members,

I convey our thanks and appreciation of the warm welcome you accorded us.
ONLF again reiterates its welcome to the positive change Prime Minster Ahmed has ushered in Ethiopia in response to the popular demand for their rights, including democratic governance and respect of the rule of law. All peoples in Ethiopia rejected the status quo after more than two decades of tyranny and grave violations of their human and democratic rights.

ONLF was created in 1984 in order to seek the democratic rights of Somali people in the Somali Regional state or Ogaden, including the right choice of the Somali people to manage their destiny and well-being. From the beginning ONLF was committed to seeking the rights of its people and when Ethiopia changed in 1991, ONLF fully participated peaceful in the new political order. It won the first election ever held in the Somali territory and build its institutions. However, from the beginning the transitional federal government started antagonistic activities, including withholding vital resources, dividing the Somali people and impeding the development of the necessary institutions that were necessary to build and manage a devolved Somali state. After many attempts to negotiate peaceful with them government and always meeting with arrogance and deceit, ONLF stated its displeasure since the most basic rights of its people were denied.

Instead of resolving the conflict peacefully, the Ethiopian government attacked ONLF and dismantled the elected Somali regional state institutions. Then a military campaign against ONLF was started in 20 April 1994 until August 12, 2018 when ONLF declared a unilateral ceasefire, in response to PM Abiy Ahmed’s call for peace and reconciliation to all peoples in Ethiopia. The Somali people were subjected to the most inhuman rights violations and many have lost their lives or wellbeing.

Now that a peace agreement has been signed, ONLF will continue to pursue its political program through peaceful, democratic means and fulfil its part of the agreement, while working with the Federal government in bring stability, respect of human rights, democratic governance to the Somali region and Ethiopia in General. ONLF also expects that the federal government will honour the agreement and complete the reminding parts of the agreement as soon as possible.

In addition, ONLF will play an active positive role in the Somali regional state and work with the regional president and his administration and other stakeholders in order to bring peace, sound governance, the rule of law, respect of human and democratic rights of the people and development, while dealing with past in a constructive manner.

ONLF believes that for a true democratic change to usher in Ethiopia, all stakeholders must fulfil their responsibly and take full ownership of the process. However, the role and attitude of the Federal government is key in providing the enabling environment necessary to engender that change.

Therefore, ONLF will play an active role in bringing a genuine democratic change in Ethiopia that will enable all peoples in Ethiopia to live in peace and get their full rights in every aspect.

ONLF is graciously concerned about the recurring conflict in the Somali Oromo border and will work assiduously in bringing a viable peace between the two brotherly nations. Moreover, ONLF calls upon the Federal government and the two regional states of Somali and Oromo to squarely face the problem and start a genuine reconciliation process.

Finally, ONLF calls upon the international community to support the peace process in the Somali regional state. In addition, ONLF calls both the Federal government and the International community to designate a special status to the Somali region which was devastated by the conflict that ragged the last 2 4 years and the recurrent droughts and allocate adequate funds in order to rebuild and rehabilitate.

Thank you
Read by Abdirahman Mahdi
ONLF Secretary General
At Addis Ababa Airport


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