Ethiopia rebels warn oil firms in Ogaden

Ethiopia’s Ogadeni rebels on Thursday warned oil firms not to venture into the southern region of the Horn of Africa country where they are fighting government forces.

In a statement, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) “strongly advises multinational corporations that Ogaden is a war zone”.

“They should not conduct any business activity in it until there is a political solution to the conflict.”

The group said it “will not be responsible for any collateral damages that occur from its engagements with the Ethiopian army or security apparatuses wherever they are”.

In April, Ethiopia said it had significantly weakened the rebels, a claim the insurgents dismissed.

The military launched an offensive against ONLF rebels after they attacked a Chinese-run oil venture in Ogaden in April 2007, killing 74 people.

Formed in 1984, the ONLF is fighting for the independence of ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia’s oil-rich Ogaden region, who they say have been marginalised by Addis Ababa.—Sapa-AFP

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