The Central Committee of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has concluded a conference in Jijiga. The meeting was about consulting on what the ONLF will do in the national dialogue on reconciliation between Ethiopian politicians and the division of government.
Ethiopia’s national reconciliation plan is being pushed by Western countries seeking an end to Ethiopia’s 14-month civil war in a bid to bring about a peaceful and democratic transition to democracy. This alone will make it possible for these various ethnic groups in Ethiopia to live in peace.
Abiy Ahmed agreed to hold a national dialogue after intense pressure from international donors, but Abiy has his own agenda of being behind the preparation of the agenda and the conduct of the conference.
Recently Abiy Ahmed informed the regional administrations to send the representatives of the regional administrations to the national consultative meeting to reach a political solution that would lead to lasting peace and unity, with each ethnic group being given a quota.
Ethiopia’s three main rival factions are the Oromos, Amharas and Tigreans, who are seeking a final settlement of power-sharing.
Disrespectful ethnic groups such as the Somalis are satisfied with any quota given by the ruling government.
Opposition parties in the Somali region are united in their efforts to change Ethiopia’s long-standing policy of contempt for the Somali people. Unfortunately, the parties are under pressure from the leaders of the Somali regional administration who have no political will beyond the seat.
According to sources, Abiy Ahmed has already nominated 11 members to represent the Somali region in Ethiopia’s national dialogue. Politicians from other ethnic groups who will represent the nation in the national dialogue will be selected jointly by scholars and regional intellectuals. These issues in the Somali region are just part of the traditional system of discrimination against the Somali region.
This consultative meeting follows on the missteps of the Somali regional administration and the Ethiopian government who are wielding power in the region differently from other regions of the country.
Onlf today has neither political nor military power, but prior to 2018 it was a rebellion with considerable political weight. The ONLF lost its power when it easily entered into a hypocritical agreement with Abiy Ahmed’s government.
The press release issued by onlf was meaningless and frustrated by her supporters. The statement included Ethiopia’s disregard for Somalia and its long history of discrimination against the Somali people. The main point of the ONLF statement was that it would not participate in the Ethiopian national dialogue unless the wishes of the Somali people were taken into account.
Onlf, it had previously boycotted the elections in the Somali region which had initially been postponed due to ONLF complaints, and was later held without any response to their grievances.
Opposition parties and rights activists in the Somali region share a common vision of putting the interests of the Somali people first, without interference from anyone else. Where Somali regional leaders are ready to implement the political decisions of Abi Ahmed’s government which itself does not have the support of the Ethiopian people.