Ethiopia signs peace deal with ONLF rebel group


Ethiopia has signed a peace deal with rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), after 34 years of insurgency in the country’s eastern Somali Region State.

The ONLF was labelled a “terrorist group” by previous regimes but Abiy Ahmed’s government has reached a historic peace deal with the rebels that provides the group has a peaceful, political channel to fight for the rights of ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia signs deal with ONLF

Delegates from the Ethiopian government and ONLF travelled to Asmara, Eritrea, to negotiate the terms of a peace deal, which was signed on Sunday. For more than three decades, government troops and ONLF rebels have clashed in the eastern Somali regional state, which is believed to be highly rich in oil and gas deposits.

The ONLF made global headlines in 2007 when it attacked a Chinese-run oil field in the region, killing 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese nationals.

In response, Ethiopia’s government branded the group as a terrorist organisation and launched a major insurgency campaign against the ONLF.  However, security forces have been accused of grave human rights abuses in the eastern Somali region, including rape, torture and murder.

Prime Minister Aboy Ahmed has condemned the actions of security forces in the region and removed the ONLF from the country’s terror list in July. Now, the PM has successfully negotiated a deal with the group as he faces up to the challenge of calming internal conflicts and ethnic violence spreading across Ethiopia.

Featured image: By Jonathan Alpeyrie – by user:jalpeyrie (via email), CC BY-SA 3.0,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.