Two high-ranking members of the ONLF, who were peace negotiators between ONLF-and- Ethiopia have been abducted in Kenya by the Ethiopian security agents on Sunday afternoon(26/01/2014).
The Group issued yesterday a press release saying that “The Ethiopian security abducted Mr Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein, two senior ONLF leaders from Nairobi yesterday afternoon. The leaders, who were members of the ONLF negotiation team, were in Nairobi for a proposed third round of talks.”http://onlf.org/?p=578
Amharic fluent speaker-Sulub Ahmed ,a former ONLF-head-quarter’s commander and a member of Central Committee and Ali Hussein aka Ali-dhere ,a member of the 74 ONLF central Committee have been in Nairobi waiting to resume a peace-talk between Ethiopian government -and-ONLF which stalled 17 October last year.
The two men had no guards with them during their stay in Nairobi. and they went missing yesterday afternoon after going to the town centre. Their cell phones went dead in the early afternoon. Early reports indicate that the Ethiopian security who armed with pistols drugged them and took them to Moyale through Isiolo Route, crossing through the gaint Ogaden border .
Waiting the news of these two ONLF-negotiators ,it was cleared on Monday morning that they have fallen into the hands of the Ethiopian agents that operate outside of the Ethiopian borders.
ONLF stated in its press release that “In 1998, the Ethiopian Army killed three members of an ONLF delegation team and abducted two members, who were coming back to ONLF base after participating in bilateral negotiations with the Ethiopian government inside the Ogaden. Two years ago, the Ethiopia government assassins killed another senior leader in Nairobi too”. The group mentioned further that “This is not the first time that the Ethiopian government has acted in an unethical and uncivilized manner by killing or abducting ONLF delegates engaged in peace talks”.
Although ,Kenya accepted to broker the previous ONLF-Ethiopia peace talks, still for the last 3 years, Kenya territory has been a place for Ethiopian agents to kill, abduct and intimidate at will any one suspected of being ONLF-Sympathizer or a refugee who fled from Ogaden Region.
In its twitter account (@ONLFJWXO), the Liberation Front stated that “Last year an abduction attempt of #ONLF leaders by #Ethiopian Security from #Nairobi was thwarted by #Kenyan Police”.
The abducting of the two-key negotiators is a blow to efforts to negotiate a political solution to the 3 decades-long war between Ethiopia and Ogaden region.
“This heinous act constitutes a breach of confidence in dealing with Ethiopia and will gravely hamper any further talks with Ethiopia. This cowardly act, will further invigorate the quest of the Somalis in Ogaden for freedom”,said Monday’s ONLF-foreign press Release.
Although the website-run by Ethiopian-appointed Ogaden administration already claimed the responsibility for the abduction of ONLF-negotiators ,the Ethiopian government remains tight lipped over the “abduction” of 2 negotiators and the Kenyan government did not comment on this fresh abduction.
“It was Kenya’s responsibility as a facilitator of the peace talks it should have the moral responsibility to protect at least these officials or allow them to carry weapons with them to protect themselves respectively.It is also Ethiopia’s violation over the Kenya’s sovereignty”,said Mohammed Farah, a journalist and a human rights activist.
Regional commentators believe that this indicates as it was mentioned earlier that some of the Ethiopian government members are unwilling to continue the peace-talks between ONLF and Ethiopia and this incident will jeopardize the peace again.