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Ethiopian rebels threaten Canadian oil company

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February 18, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - An Ethiopian rebel group on Monday issued fresh warnings against a Canadian oil firm, urging the company to refrain from oil exploration activities in the country’s eastern region.

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ONLF fighters (file/Getty)

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) accused the Canadian-owned Africa Oil Corporation (AOC) of conspiring with the government to exploit the region’s oil resources.

ONLF further said the Ogaden region is unsafe due to ongoing fighting and that the AOC must urgently halt its operations until the rebels reach a peace agreement with the central government.

The “ONLF calls upon African Oil to desist from paying blood money to Ethiopia until a just settlement of the conflict is achieved and the people of Ogaden are in a position to be masters of their wealth and interest,” said the statement.

However, an Ethiopian government spokesperson has downplayed the warning issued by the rebels, with communications minister Shimeles Kemal saying the area has long been secure and under the control of government forces.

Kemal said the region is safe for exploration companies, dismissing the warning as a desperate and predictable propaganda ploy by the few remnant leaders of the group.

In 2007, ONLF carried out an attack in the region on a Chinese-run oil venture that killed 74 people, including nine Chinese oil workers.

After the attacks, Ethiopian forces launched an assault against the terrorist-designated rebel group.

In 2010, the Ethiopian government signed a peace accord with a major section of the ONLF.

Meanwhile, last October, Kenyan-led mediation talks between Ethiopia and a second ONLF faction failed after the splinter group refused to accept a precondition to respect the country’s constitution.

A third separate rival wing within the divided ONLF has since vowed to continue its armed struggle.

Ethiopia says the Ogaden region could have a potential 4 trillion cubic feet in gas reserves.

Currently there are a number of foreign oil companies engaged in oil exploration, but although there have been small findings of natural gas, there has never been a major oil discovery in the region.

(ST)

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  • 19 February 2013 20:09, by Fetehyelem

    There is nothing new and surprising to the people of Ethiopia. We have got used to countless crime,state sponsored corruption and human right violations of TPLF-Tigray people Libration Front (Terrorist Regime) for the last 20+ years.
    Under the rule of TPLF:Ethiopia is owed to billions of dollars from every organization,country on earth.
    Ethiopia is on the forefront to beg food and everything fro

    repondre message

    • 20 February 2013 21:08, by henok

      Fethyelem,
      Ante kebt mindnew endezih yemyaslefelfih? You flee without firing a single bullet when EPRDF/Woyane was capturing Addis Ababa in 1991. And yet you are barking like a rabies infected dog from afar. kikikikiki. aye yefandya neger

      repondre message

    • 21 February 2013 16:24, by alex

      Dear Fetehyelem
      We know that you are not an Ethiopian.Simply you are using Ethiopian name to confuse Sudan Tribune Readers. Why don’t you talk about the mess that your relatives are facing in your Country, Eritrea. Just first solve your own problem first before looking at your neighbors. your attempt to divide Tigrians from Ethiopia is not successful. We are one on National issues.

      repondre message

  • 19 February 2013 20:24, by Fetehyelem

    THANKS FOR EVIL MINDED TPLF/WOYANE MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS WHO GAVE BIRTH TO SOMALIE LIBRATION FRONT AND PROPOSING/GRANTING THE ENTIRE TERRITORY OF HARAR TO SOMALIE REGION WHILE IT SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO OGADEN AREA.
    ALL THESE MESS WILL BE SORTED OUT VERY SOON. THE TIME IS COUNTING DOWN AND TPLF/WOYANES DAYS ARE NUMBERED. ETHIOPIANS ARE MOBILIZED ACCOROSS THE WORLED TO GET RID OF BRUTAL REGIM

    repondre message

    • 20 February 2013 06:24, by Addis Ababa

      Feteyelem
      your mind is so rubish and stiupid

      repondre message

    • 20 February 2013 21:10, by henok

      Fethyelem,
      kikikikiikikikikiki you clueless donkey. Just shut up. Your English does not make any sense at all. maferya. Try in Amharic.

      repondre message

  • 20 February 2013 02:19, by Panthou

    Sorry brother! I hope the rest of the Ethiopians citizens are OK with their present life. Otherwise, I heard you!

    repondre message

    • 20 February 2013 12:35, by Panda Odhie

      when will the African complian got finish,whereever you go ,you can find A and Z are relegated,no country is better on this world.

      repondre message

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