Somalia:Patrioti or terroristi? ONLF, the Somali and Ethiopia

Read Time:6 Minute, 15 Second GiustiThe region is inhabited by a population
of ethnic Somali and Muslim, it was returned toEthiopia 60 years ago. The movement
of the Mahdi Abdelrahman has been fighting for independence, and inAddis
Ababafor the ONLF is close to al Qaeda. For many years the center of fierce
fighting that seriously endanger the survival, this region was annexed to
Ethiopia for the first time during the reign of Menelik II in 1897 and then
passed under the control of Somalia during the Italian colonial period. After
the second world war, it was returned to Ethiopia in 1954 , after 13 years
of British occupation .The conflict thet erupted in the lateONLF-Foriegn-Secretary-Abdi-Rahman-MahdEven today, after many meetings strongly desired by the African Union, and

Africa, he fights for the riches of the area.Resisting (any unjust) agreement with
the government of Ethiopia
is the Ogaden National Liberation Front, the main movement that opposes the
occupation of Ethiopia and
search support across Europe. Mahdi
Abdelrahman is a first level manager as well as a spokesman and secretary of
this movement and its London office Launches
arrows against the despotism of Ethiopia.
Limes interviewed him.LIMES What is the situation of the Somali people of Ogaden ?
ONLF Foriegn Secretary Abdi Rahman Mahdi

Madhi It is a very difficult situation :
people are trying to survive but my are hungry. We came to the conclusion that
the only way is the struggle to independence. Ethiopia is not possible to find
any kind of deal. The atrocities that the military Addis Ababa committed in the
Ogaden are
unspeakable . Kill, rape and starve a people who will never surrender .LIMES You
accuse Ethiopia
of discrimination against Somalis, but there are many minorities who live in Ethiopia.

Madhi We are Somalis and that Ethiopia does
not accept us. The government of Addis Ababa has
learned the lesson of Europe, from those same
foreign powers that have divided African countries without understanding how
they actually were. We can not live with a people like the Ethiopian who are
crushing those who are different. We no longer believe the promises of
Ethiopian people, they treat the Ogaden as a colony, but we are Ogadeni and we
want to be free. The Ethiopians pretend to respect minorities, go to Eritrea and
listen to what the (their defected)
army tells of Addis Ababa.LIMES The Ogaden National Liberation Front is divided between
the armed struggle at home and a media fight to raise awareness of the
situation by seeking aid around the world .


Madhi Our story is sadly similar to that of
all the oppressed peoples of the world. We have known the prison and now live
in exile. Our children are not born in the Ogaden, but our grandchildren will
be able to fly our flag. For this we need Europe and the United States
to understand us, even though our struggle does not seem to interest anyone .
We would like a commission of the United Nations to visit the Ogaden without
being accompanied by the Ethiopian military, but you can not because the
Ethiopians do not want witnesses, even the Red Cross. Two Swedish journalists
have been arrested for entering the Ogaden . They accuse our movement of
terrorism to have on their side the West, but the true terrorists are the
rulers in Addis Ababa.LIMES Somalis and Ethiopians are different races, speak
different languages and have a different religion. How important is Islam in
your fight ?

Madhi I want to dispel any doubts about our
involvement with extremist groups that operate in the Horn of Africa. We
Somalis are Muslims , but the program Ogaden National Liberation Front is a
political and not religious . Islam is a religion of peace and we are very
proud of our faith, but this does not change our idea of building an
independent Ogaden. We are not in Afghanistan
and none of us grew up in Islamic schools in Pakistan.LIMES From your movement
transpires strong nationalism, almost a
revival of the idea of pansomalismo, the creation of a Greater Somalia Siad
Barre who also brought forward.

Madhi We are proud of our roots and we want
to have the freedom to be Somalis. All the bounds placed by foreign powers are
useless : Russia and the United States
prefer the pulverization of the region to keep us weak and sell weapons . We do
not believe much in the creation of a state for all Somalis, first serve many
steps. For now, we want independence. In Mogadishu
lacks unity and yet they are fighting (one another).

First you need to pacify all regions , then we are willing to sit down at a
table to discuss. But unfortunately the way for independence from Ethiopia still
seems very long and difficult. Addis
Ababa held a meeting to talk about the Ogaden issue,

prison, the killings are the order of the day and half of our women are
systematically raped. You have to stop the genocide of our people, the world
can no longer ignore us .These barbarians on the government act
with vehemence impunity of all charges. The (Ethiopian) embassies in London and Rome
describe the Ogaden a great economic growth now and in peace for years. A
very different picture from that presented by the Ogadeni guerrillas. Limes spoke
with the head of the Policy and Public Diplomacy at the Embassy in Rome, Fesseha Tesfu
LIMES The ONLF accuses Ethiopia to implement a real
genocide in the Ogaden .

BEYANE Our constitution is clear, we are a
federal republic that recognizes autonomy in all 9 regions that make up Ethiopia. Our
government has invested heavily in the Ogaden and violence are a distant
memory. The accusations of genocide against Ethiopia are defamatory . The
country which I have the honor to represent is a true oasis of peace in a
turbulent region and the population in the Ogaden are recognized autonomy and
freedomLIMES What is your opinion of the Ogaden National Liberation

BEYANE Most of this movement has already
given up the armed struggle and has reached an agreement with the Government of
Ethiopia . Those few who still commit violence in the Ogaden do not represent
anyone but themselves and are looking for advertising to get money from our
government.LIMES The Ogaden is open or is it a war zone as telling the
Somalis ?

BEYANE course I can visit this region, in
fact I invite you to see how much effort did the government in Addis Ababa to
help the population . The area is peaceful, the only violence are those Ogaden
National Liberation Front. These men are terrorists, do not fight for the
Somali people, but only for personal gain. They have close ties with Al Shabab,
the Somali Islamic Courts, the arm of al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa. The

the region and the fragmentation of the Somali state in so many self-proclaimed
small states ?

BEYANE difficult to find a single reason. In Mogadishu, the civil conflict between
the warlords led to
the destruction of the State, but the new federal government of Somalia is
working well with the help ofEthiopia. My government maintains diplomatic
relations with Somaliland and Puntland in the
hope of being able to organize a table that can put an end to the violence in
the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia
is the strong state of the region and knows that this involves great
responsibility source

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