Ethiopian Government, ONLF start discussions

The Ethiopian Government and Ogaden rebels have started peace talks mediated by the Kenyan government. Preliminary discussions were held in Nairobi last Thursday and Friday according to a statement by the rebel group on their website. Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been fighting for autonomy of Ethiopia’s eastern region, which is dominated by the Somali people, since 1984. President Kibaki, according to the rebels, initiated the dialogue and appointed a team led by Internal Security Minister Yusuf Haji to coordinate the negotiations. The Ethiopian Government has also confirmed its participation in the negotiations held last week. Ethiopia’s Communication Affairs Minister Bereket Simon dubbed the talks “a positive step”. Ethiopian Defence Minister SirajFeggesa and MrAbdirahman Mahdi, the Foreign Secretary of ONLF led their respective delegations in the first round of talks, which laid down the rules of negotiation and mainly focused on confidence-building.
(Kenya Daily Nation)