Via the Sudan Tribune, Nov. 28:
Ogaden National Liberation Front Statement on Events Unfolding in Somalia
There has been much written about the events unfolding in Somalia with frequent mention of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and speculations on our position with regards to the events unfolding in Somalia. Hence, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify to the international community and members of the media our principled position on the Somali civil war and Ethiopia’s involvement in that country’s internal affairs.
First, the ONLF categorically denies assertions by the TPLF led regime in Ethiopia and members of the media that ONLF military personnel are in Somalia. As a matter of principle the ONLF has never been and does not intend to be a party to the conflict in Somalia. We wish to affirm that the scope of our military operations is and will continue to be limited to Ogaden and Ethiopia. We further wish to make clear that the Ogaden cause in not a territorial dispute between Somalia and Ethiopia but rather a legitimate struggle for the self-determination of the Somali people of Ogaden
Secondly, the ONLF strongly cautions the international community against permitting an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia as that would have dire consequences for the entire region. An Ethiopian invasion of Somalia will trigger a catastrophic regional war with massive loss of life and continued instability in the Horn of Africa for years to come.
Thirdly, the ONLF wishes to affirm that we will not allow our territory to be used as a launching pad for an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia without stiff resistance from our armed forces.
Fourthly, the ONLF bears witness to the fact that the TPLF led regime is in continuous breach of the arms embargo placed on Somalia and has been since the inception of the embargo. The current Ethiopian regime has clearly been the primary obstacle to the peaceful settlement of the Somali conflict for over a decade by actively interfering in the internal affairs of Somalia by arming various factions, training their militias and undermining through diplomatic maneuvers nearly all attempts at a peaceful settlement between conflicting parties.
In This time of increasing tensions in the Horn of Africa, the ONLF wishes to confirm that the people of Ogaden stand in strong solidarity with the people of Somalia to reclaim their sovereignty and achieve a lasting peace free of foreign influence and manipulation.
Despite the Ethiopian regimes policy of deliberately undermining peace in Somalia, the ONLF urges all parties in Somalia to solve their differences through dialogue and recognize that they are at the threshold of a crucial decision that will usher in a period of sovereignty or foreign domination for Somalia depending on the choices they make.
The ONLF will continue to support and encourage every legitimate effort to provide all necessary assistance to the Somali people so that they can fully grasp their political future into their own hands and move toward a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future built by Somalis and for Somalis.
Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)
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