14 January 2011

In 1981 the OAU committee mediating between Somalia and Ethiopia regarding the conflict in the Ogaden ,declared that the Ogaden is part of Ethiopia. That decision was based on the 1964 resolution of the OAU promulgated in Cairo regarding the sanctity of the African borders left by colonialism. That unjust resolution in no way took into account the aspirations of the people of Ogaden and wrongly portrayed the Ogaden conflict as a border dispute between two States when it is infact a conflict borne from the desire of the Ogaden people for self-determination.

Despite the AU turning a blind eye to the plight of the Ogaden people and it’s lack of interest in addressing the root causes of the Ogaden conflict, the decision to allow the people of the South Sudan to take a referendum to decide their destiny is a great day for all people denied their rights to self-determination in Africa. President Bashir of Sudan is to be commended for agreeing to this bold and visionary step forward in the interest of justice and peace

This vote represents a precedent affirming that there is no longer a moral or so-called legal basis for denying the Ogaden people their legitimate rights to self-determination and that the AU bears a direct responsibility to address protracted conflicts which require a comprehensive political solution especially when those conflicts are based on the legitimate aspirations of African peoples to achieve

The fact of the matter is that the Ogaden people will achieve their rights through a protracted peoples’ struggle whether the current or future Ethiopian regimes like it or not. It would be appropriate for the AU and peace loving nations to be on the right side of history and address the Ogaden conflict with the same energy and interest afforded the South Sudan conflict. The AU should not wait for Genocide to take on unimaginable proportions before engaging itself in this conflict. The fact that the Ethiopian regime is engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden is well documented. Ogaden warrants AU intervention now.

Ogaden National Liberation Front (O.N.L.F)


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