ONLF-symbolgreenbackgroundMarch 14, 2015

In March 5, 2015, an Ethiopian Army commander in a town in Ogaden, called the Elders to a meeting. He ordered them to provide youth labourers who are to cut all trees and vegetation in an area of one kilometre on each side of the road from Jeexdin Gas exploration site through Jigjiga to Djibouti town. Furthermore, he ordered the elders to tell the youth to bring their own axes to cut the trees. He promised the elders that the army would provide rations from WFP food-aid stockpiles to the Youth. The commander, continuing his discourse, informed the elders that the area is to be cleared in order to secure the safe construction of a pipeline to the port of Djibouti for the Ogaden Gas. The commander also told the Ogaden elders that POLY GCL Petroleum Investment Limited of China has given the pipeline construction to Canadian company.

The Ogaden elders forcefully rejected the officer’s preposterous order and told him that they will not participate in such destructive act that will destroy the Ogaden environment. Then, the soldier started threatening the elders with dire consequences if they refuse to ‘cooperate’. However, the elders ignored his threats and re-iterated their position that they will not be party to such a wicked scheme.

The Ethiopian army, which receives funds from POLY GCL, has been forcefully moving rural communities away from the proposed exploration sites and planned pipeline routes, since June 2013. More than half a million Ogaden families are being affected and threatened by this nefarious GAS project.

The Ethiopian regime has divided the whole of the Somali territory into 23 exploration sites. It is continually attempting to find a ’safe’ route to lay pipelines for exporting the Gas and oil. Some of the proposed routes are the Kenya-Lamu route, the Northern Somalia-Berbera route, and  Eastern Somalia-Gara’ad in Puntland along the Somalia east coast.

In addition, the Chinese are giving the Ethiopian army highly sophisticated technology that is being used to monitor ONLA communications and the pastoralist migratory movements around the exploration sites and routes.A complex espionage facility has now been built in Kebri-dehar and advanced electronics eavesdropping equipment from China installed. The Chinese also contribute to the Liyu police support fund. the Liyu Police are Janjaweed-like militia from the local community that the Ethiopian regime uses for its programs of mass killings and extermination in Ogaden.

In light of these renewed efforts, by the regime to destroy the Ogaden environment and undertake a ruthless and unethical exploitation of Oil and Gas in Ogaden, the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA) special commando units will spare no effort to foil any such undertakings. ONLA will continue defending the rights of the Ogaden people until Ethiopia grants the democratic and self-determination rights of the Somali people in Ogaden.

Finally, ONLA warns other states in the region not to become a party to the Ethiopian regime’s crimes against the Ogaden people. A Just and peaceful settlement of the Ogaden conflict will be of benefit to all communities in the Horn of Africa and the International community.

Ogaden National Liberation Army,

Ogaden/14 March 2015.



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