September 1 2011

Ogaden National Liberation Front

Brigades from the Ethiopian Army in Ba’bili, Jigjiga, Degahmadow and Degahbur have launched a joint attack against ONLF forces on the 30th of August, after the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA) pushed back Elite troops from the Prime Ministers Special Forces who were trying to escort a Chinese team to Obole oil exploration. Casualties from the Ethiopian Army side were 25 soldiers. In Addition, ONLA destroyed three Urals. The Special Forces are composed of a battalion with two companies had set up a temporary base camp in Qabri-bayax, town between Jigjiga and Degahbur. The Chinese team are imbedded with this battalion.

These troops were dislodging farmers from their lands between Degahbur and Qabri-bayah on both sides of Route 30, claiming that seismic lines pass through their farms. Three villagers from the area are missing, Mr Mohamed Abdi Diriye, the acting major of Obole (the mayor was already in prison), Mr Hiis Mohamed Ahmed and Mr Hussein Mohamed. In addition, Mr Farhan Mohamed Qawdan and Abdirahman Mohamed Ahmed were severely beaten and left as dead.

After this initial attempt failed, the Ethiopian army sent new reinforcements from Jigjiga, Babili and Degahbur. The Liberation Army pinned down this Ethiopian Army thrust around Galalshe, Malqaqa, Bodhley, Karinka Soolka between Degahmadow and Degahbur, Higlaley, Obole, Eel-weyne. The Liberation Army inflicted extensive damage to the Ethiopian troops degrading both troops and equipment (See Map below). There are few casualties on the Liberation Army side. The ONLA high Command will issue the final tally in the coming days.

The Chinese are wearing Army camouflages and as such, it is very hard to differentiate than from the Ethiopian Army personnel. It is the responsibility of civilians to be clearly distinct when traveling with combat military units in order to safeguard their rights stipulated in the Geneva Convention as unarmed civilians.

Issued by ONLF


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