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Who are the Ogaden people?



By M Faarax

The Ogaden people are Ethiopia’s third largest ethnic group and their population amounts to more than 5-8 million (around 5-6% of Ethiopia’s total population).

Ogaden people are Somali people and speak Af Soomaali, they also speak Amharic, Arabic, English, Oromo languages. They are Muslim Sunni. The region is known peaceful Islamic studies before toxic Wahhabism impact the Horn of Africa in early 1980.

1897– Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of is signed. The border is disputed and Ogaden was ceded.

1898– Ogaden was handed over to Ethiopia by British.

In 1964, OLF, Ogaden Liberation Front led by Makhtal Dahir started Ogaden rag-tag war liberating The Ogaden Region under Ethiopia occupation.

1974– WSLF, Western Somali Liberation Front started Ogaden liberation backed by Somali National Army.

1977– Ogaden was taken by WSLF and Somali Army, Soviet Union backed Ethiopia and Somali withdrew its troops in Ogaden.

1984– ONLF, Ogaden National Liberation Front was founded by former Ogaden Liberation officers and were active in Ogaden since now.

1991– ONLF backed Ethiopian charter and constitution and became part of New Ethiopia where their aim was to solve Ogaden Issue as political through the constitution which allows people in Ethiopia to vote until succeed.

1992– ONLF was elected in majority and founded the current Somali Region administration in Ethiopia.

1995– ONLF and Ethiopian government led by Meles Zenawi clash on ideology and ONLF senior members were killed. ONLF restarted the armed struggle.

1998– First ONLF and Ethiopia peace negotiation begun in Kebridahar, Qorahay Zone. The result became failed.

2007– ONLF attacked and shaken Ethiopia government policy of economic progress in Ogaden. ONLF took control of Oil Field in Obela in the zone of Dhagahbour and killed around 200 troops and workers of oil field.

2007- Melez Zenawi vowed to eradicate ONLF and mascaraed thousands of civilians in Ogaden in the name of ONLF counter attack.

2008– Ethiopia says Ogaden has self-rule and no need for liberation. Majority of Ogaden people see the self-rule as puppet administration some support. 

2016-ONLF – still active today – also calls for the self-determination of the Ogaden people. Ethiopia listed as a terror organisation that carried out attacks. People of Ogaden and International community see ONLF as nationalist movement. Al-Itihad Al-Islam calls ONLF as secular organization seeking freedom and democratic based on western style. Inter-clashes between ONLF and Al-Itihad happened in Ogaden last 20 years before Altihad were ousted from the region.

OgadenToday Press

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