The heroic ONLF forces succeed to foil again illegal oil exploration in Ogaden
The Chinese owned petroleum exploration company PetroTrans has announced that it has pulled out of Ogaden citing “security concerns” as the reason one year after it was granted a $5 billion gas contract covering 10 blocks by the government of Ethiopia.
On its part, the Ethiopian regime claimed that it has terminated the PetroTrans contract because of lack of investment on the ground. The regime’s Minister of Mines, Sinknesh Ejigu, told Bloomberg news on Monday that PetroTrans Co. “did not fulfill their obligations” as the agreement stipulated. “We want to realize the project on the ground, not on paper,” the Mines minister said.
In October 2010, after more two years of battles around exploration sites and the shedding of countless innocent Ogaden blood, the Malaysian state-owned Petronas Nasional Bhd pulled out of Ogaden citing similar security related concerns.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) had earlier warned both of these companies before they invested in Ogaden to stay out of the region until such time when the Ogaden people have the right to govern their country.
It is noteworthy to remember that when the Malaysian Petronas resumed oil exploration in Oagden after the Obole attack of 2007, the ONLF said in a statement in January 2009:
“The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has stated on multiple occasions that we will not allow the exploitation of the oil and gas wealth of our country as long as our people are denied their legitimate rights to self-determination. In that context, the ONLF affirms that if reports that Petronas will resume oil exploration activities in Ogaden are true, this will not be tolerated. When our people reclaim their rights to self-determination, all legitimate ventures aimed at exploiting the oil and gas wealth of our country will be entertained. However, until such time, all companies interested in engaging in such activities should be on notice that the Ogaden is a war zone and that the Ethiopian regime does not have effective control of Ogaden, nor does it have the legitimacy to enter into contracts on behalf of our people.”
Unfortunately Petronas took the ONLF warning as a bluff, only to discover the hard truth when it was too late and they were forced to leave Ogaden! They were duped by the Ethiopian regime into believing the phony promise of security and good returns for their investments in Ogaden.
PetroTrans which had ignored the ONLF warning is now challenging the termination of their contract by the Ethiopian government and threatening to take “the dispute to arbitration in Geneva unless the decision is reversed,” according to a letter the company sent to the media. Had they listened to the ONLF warning, this tragedy – which had cost thousands of innocent Ogaden lives and the lost of their investments – could have been avoided.
As if it has not learned anything from its past failures to guarantee the safety of oil companies, the Ethiopian regime is trying to lure again gullible oil companies to invest in Ogaden. One of them is Petra Energia, a Brazil-based petroleum firm.
However after realizing the dangers foreign oil firms face and that they cannot guarantee their safety, the regime is now trying to speed up oil drilling through SouthWest Energy, a regime owned company, which has been in Ogaden for quite sometime but didn’t succeed to drill oil out.
The regime’s latest attempt is doomed to fail like the ones before them. And as long as the Ogaden people’s right to self-determination is denied, and their fundamental human rights trampled on, the natural resources of our country will not be exploited – no matter what the cost.
We advice oil companies not to take part in the commission of war-crimes and crimes against in Ogaden in their search for oil.
Ogaden News Agency.
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