Resolve Ogaden Coalition is disappointed to learn that peace talks between the Ogaden National Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government have come to a standstill, as a result of the Ethiopian government's apparent violation of key principles agreed upon during preliminary talks held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 6th and 7th of September 2012.
Both parties had agreed that no preconditions or restrictions would stand in the way of achieving a just and lasting resolution. As revealed in statements released by both parties, however, the Ethiopian delegation, led by H.E. Siraj Fegessa, insisted that the Ogaden National Liberation Front accept, as a prerequisite for continued talks, the Ethiopian constitution. That precondition is a clear violation of key principles that had been agreed upon.
It is important to note that the current Ethiopian constitution (like previous Ethiopian constitutions) does not practically address the legitimate historical grievances of Somalis in Ogaden. Therefore the acceptance of the constitution will neither lead to a resolution of the conflict nor address the root cause. The Ogaden issue is colonial in nature, and the Ogaden people have not been given the opportunity to decide their future through an internationally monitored referendum.
The Ethiopian government's deceptive propaganda has been a key tool used to distort the reality in the Ogaden. Since 2010, the Ethiopian government has signed two fictitious “peace agreements” with two individuals – one the former leader of Al itihad Al Islam (later UWSLF), an organization classified by the United States as a terrorist organization and the other an ousted former member of the ONLF. To no one's surprise, neither purported peace agreement has advanced in any way an end to the longstanding conflict in the Ogaden.
Resolve Ogaden Coalition urges the Ethiopian government to affirm its commitment to a genuine resolution of the Ogaden conflict and to withdraw all preconditions and restrictions that may hinder the establishment of a just and lasting solution.
Resolve Ogaden Coalition applauds the efforts and persistence of the ONLF in trying to achieve a peaceful resolution to the Ogaden conflict and encourages the Front to continue the peace processes.
Resolve Ogaden Coalition