Peace talks between Ethiopia and Ogaden rebels failed
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
(ADDIS ABABA) – Peace talks between the Ethiopian government and with a faction of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) ended on Wednesday without a breakthrough.
The Ethiopian delegation led by the Defence Minister, Siraj Fegessa and ONLF’s led by Mohamed Omar Osman held the second round of peace talks from 15-17th October in Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
The Ethiopian government said the peace talks failed after the ONLF faction “refused to accept and respect the constitution of Ethiopia and work within the constitutional framework”.
The rebel group holds the Ethiopian government responsible for the stalled talks. It accused the Ethiopian government of violating a key principles agreed during preliminary talks held in Nairobi, Kenya last month.
The Ogaden rebel group argued that the Ethiopian negotiation team put a pre condition by insisting ONLF must accept constitution and said that precondition is a violation to initial agreement.
During first round of talks held in Nairobi on the September 6th and 7th 2012, the two sides agreed on the modalities of the negotiation process, the general principles that would be the basis to ending the conflict in Ethiopia’s Ogaden region.
Among reached agreements made was that “No preconditions shall be made to disrupt the peace negotiations”.
The peace talks aimed to end the rebel group’s over two decades of insurgency in the Ogaden region.
In 2010 Ethiopia signed a peace accord with a break away of the ONLF group.
Meanwhile, Resolve Ogaden Coalition (ROC), an exiled independent advocacy group, has urged the ONLF and the Ethiopia government to revive stalled peace talks.
It urged the Ethiopian government to commit itself for a genuine peace talks to bring a lasting solution to the conflict in Ogaden.
“ROC urges the Ethiopian government to withdraw all preconditions and restrictions that may hinder the establishment of a just and lasting solution”.