Conciliation Resources attends historic Ethiopia peace deal signing
Horn of Africa Programme Director, Aden Abdi, was invited to provide technical support and witness the deal, which marks the end of over 20 years of insurgency and counter-insurgency in the Somali regional state:
I have accompanied every twist and turn in this peace process and am so proud to witness the signing of this peace deal. This marks the end of Ogaden insurgency – now the hard work of building sustainable peace begins.
The two sides have reached a historical agreement regarding the political rights of the people from Somali Regional State and genuinely addressing the root causes of the conflict between ONLF and the Ethiopian Government.
The deal brings to an end hostilities in the Somali region and paves the way for the ONLF to return to the region and pursue its political objectives through peaceful means.
What was different in the Asmara talks, is the genuine political commitment by both parties to address the Ogaden conflict. This deal would not have been possible without the recent political changes in Ethiopia.
What is needed now is an all-inclusive Somali dialogue and reconciliation process. Such a process would bring together the Somali Regional State Government, ONLF and various political and social groups, and be backed by the federal government. The ONLF insurgency is only one element of the conflict and insecurity facing the Somali region. Issues of federal-state relations, cross-border conflicts between states and ethnic groups, land and natural resource ownership and self-determination, all continue to cause tensions.
History of the ONLF insurgency
For more than two decades, the ONLF has been fighting for self-determination for Somalis in the Ogaden region. The Somali Regional State (SRS), in the East of the country, was one of the self-governing autonomous states, created by Ethiopia’s ruling party in 1991 as part of efforts to address the country’s historical and geographical inequalities.