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Sudan Tribune

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Ethiopian rebels caution foreign firms form exploiting oil

May 25, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) – A rebel group in Eastern Ethiopia has warned central government and foreign firms from exploiting oil in Ogaden region, an opposition radio reported.

The executive committee of the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in a meeting held between 15 and 19 May 2007, cautioned “colonial” Ethiopian government and foreign companies against attempts to exploit the natural resources of Ogaden.

The ONLF claimed responsibility for 24 April attack on a Chinese-run oil venture in Ogaden, where the separatist group is fighting for the independence of ethnic Somalis. Seventy-seven people were killed in the assault, including nine Chinese nationals.

According to Radio Freedom, the meeting pointed out that the Ethiopian government was in a bad situation following its capture of Somalia, and that the capture of Somalia marked the beginning of the downfall of the regime.

The executive rebel body has resolved that “our fraternal people of Somalia should be helped morally and materially to enable them to succeed in liberating their country from Ethiopian troops that invaded it illegally”.

Also, the executive committee calls for the strengthening of the cooperation between the ONLF and groups opposed to Ethiopian government. Earlier this month, the ONLF and the Oromo Liberation carried out different military operation against the regular army.

The rebels urged the international community to pressure the Ethiopian government to accept the Ogaden people’s right to self-determination; saying that peace and stability in the Horn of Africa depend on finding a solution to the Ogaden cause.

(ST)