Ogaden News Agency
March 9, 2016

LONDON (ONA) – The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) warned China, Djibouti and Ethiopia from stealing the vast natural resources in Ogaden, in particular its natural gas.

China, along with the two Horn of Africa neighbouring nations, announced an ambitious integrated venture that “involves oil and gas exploration and development, as well as the construction of a pipeline, LNG [Liquefied Natural Gas] plant and marine [export] terminal.” All of the natural resources will be from Ogaden, but both the liquefaction plant and marine export terminal will be built in Djibouti.

The underground facility will be about 1100 kilometres of an oil and gas pipeline that is scheduled to be laid from El Kuran oil wells in south through Jehdin (Calub) and Hilala gas fields in the heartland of Ogaden and going north to Jurassic oil seeps at Adigala in Shinile Province before draining at a depository tank farm at the port of Djibouti, whereby giant Chinese gas carrier oceanliners are to dock, fill and transport liquefied natural gas to energy thirsty China.

In its most recent press lease, dated March 3, “[the] ONLF categorically states that it will mobilise.…in order to stop any attempt to steal the wealth of the Somali people in Ogaden until a genuine representative government that can safeguard the interests of the Somali people is established in Ogaden.”

The company behind all of this is POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Limited, based in Africa, is a Chinese energy powerhouse that specializes, in its owns words: “ business of oil and gas exploration and development, storage, pipeline transportation, refining and terminal sales.” The POLY-GCL is infamous for its questionable dealings with rogue regimes that have extremely poor human rights track records, and often have no regard for human life. Its most recent partners-for-profit are the regimes in Ethiopia and Djibouti, which are both engaged in the Ogaden conflict for worse.

The ONLF recognized the energy firm for its true colour and stated: “since POLY-GCL is operating within Ethiopian army garrison camps and is paying the Ethiopian army to clear the land and displace the rural population, ONLF considers them as a party to the conflict.”

The Ogadeni independence movement believes that any extraction of Ogadeni natural resources, including fossil fuels, would bring about nothing, but catastrophe for the eight million people of Ogaden and their environment, until a just and lasting political solution is reached in a mutually beneficial, cooperative and peaceful way.

The popular front further added that:” the Somali people in Ogaden are not benefiting in any shape or form from this project. Instead, the rural population are being systematically displaced forcefully from the grasslands and forced into destitution and internal displacement. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government is still actively continuing its campaign of slow annihilation of the Somali people in Ogaden by actively maintaining trade and aid blockage and hampering the effective support of the international community to aid the Somali people in Ogaden in an efficient and effective manner.”

The liberation front warned Chinese and Djiboutian governments by collaborating with Ethiopia against innocent and defenseless people of Ogaden, “they are becoming accessories to the genocide committed by the Ethiopian government in Ogaden and will share the consequences of their heinous participation in that crime.”

The ONLF was founded on August 15, 1984, by delegates representing Ogaden masses and was tasked to wage a national liberation struggle for a national self-determination. The popular front stands by the belief that it is the sole representative of Ogaden, its people and their interests, a view widely shared by the oppressed majority in Ogaden. The headquarters of the ONLF is inside Ogaden and its leader is Chairman Mohamed O. Osman.

The Ogaden conflict with Ethiopia is Africa’s longest and perhaps most neglected armed conflict in the world. It predates the reign of TPLF regime in Addis Ababa, the foundation of ONLF and that of TPLF, as well formation of the state of Ethiopia. Its roots lie in the Partition of Africa in 1885 and British betrayal of the people of Ogaden in 1897. It is a colonial issue that calls for a decolonization of the last colony of Africa by Ethiopia, which it acquired through an expansionist strategy by way of invasion and annexation.


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