News: ONLF to partake in national dialogue ‘if it meets sufficient international standards’

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The executive committee held a meeting in Jigjiga, January 17-20, 2022

Addis Abeba, January 24/2022 – The Executive Committee (EC) of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) outlined preconditions that need to be taken for it to partake in the national dialogue. In a statement, the ONLF demanded that the representation in the dialogue must have credible legitimacy and the agenda presented should be free from discrimination. The EC further demanded that the national dialogue should be led by universally accepted independent facilitators or mediators and transparent in the decision-making process, including the consensus. 

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At its annual meeting held between 17 to 20 January 2022, evaluating the current situation in the Somali state, Ethiopia, and the horn,  the Executive Committee (EC) of the ONLF detailed that the Somali people faced ‘’extreme injustices’’ where, according to the presser, the Ethiopian state violated their most basic human rights and marginalized politically, economically and socially. In the briefing, the EC underscored that Somali people will benefit from ‘’genuine political will through principled negotiations’’ and will consider the planned national dialogue in Ethiopia if certain ‘’sufficient attributes’’ of international standards and practices are met.

The ONLF emphasized the need for agreed-upon transparent selection criteria criticizing the current process of selecting members of the National Dialogue Commission. “It is imperative that the Somali people develop a common outlook and agenda to prepare if a credible National dialogue is held,” the statement read. 

The statement noted the drought that is ravaging the Somali region and appealed to the Ethiopian government, the UN, and donors to step up their intervention to avert what it called “an impending catastrophe.”  

The executive committee concluded its statement by reminding the international community that conflict is not confirmed to northern Ethiopia, Oromia and Afar. “The Somali state is a smoldering charcoal hidden by ashes,” the statement read, adding that the peace agreement made between the ONLF and the Ethiopian government is not implemented. “Unless a viable solution is that addresses the legitimate demands of the Somali is achieved, a time bomb more lethal than the catastrophe in Northern Ethiopia is simmering under the surface,” the statement concluded. AS

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