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Ethiopia’s Ogaden rebels declare unilateral ceasefire

August 13, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Ethiopian rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) Sunday declared a unilateral ceasefire pointing to the call for peace by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

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ONLF fighters (file/Getty)

The ONLF “declares Unilateral ceasefire from today – 12:00 pm, August 12, 2018, that and will cease all military and security operations directed against the Ethiopian Security Apparatus in the Somali territory (Ogaden), until a negotiated comprehensive cessation of hostilities is reached with the Ethiopian government,” says the rebel group.

Prime Minister Ahmed who was picked by the ruling party in April this year has called for democratic reforms in the country coupled with reconciliations with Eritrea ending the 20-year-old border conflict.

The separatist group said it takes “into account the positive steps taken by the Ethiopian government to lay the groundwork for talks and peaceful negotiations to find an available and lasting solution to the Ogaden conflict”.

Further, it called on the government to reciprocate the cessation of hostilities and announce à similar measure creating a conducive environment for the proposed peace process.

Established in 1984, the ONLF launched a series of attacks on the Ethiopian army in 1994.

The ONLF aims to create an independent state in Ethiopia’s southeastern Ogaden territory, which is inhabited by 7 million ethnic Somalis.

In September 2012, peace talks in Nairobi between the government and the ONLF failed after the rebel refusal to recognize the Ethiopian constitution which divides the country into nine ethnically based administrative regions including the Somali region.

(ST)