Monday, October 11, 2010

"Ethiopia Rebels Say Petronas Concession Sale Shows State's Lack of Control"

Creative commons photo of the Petronas Towers. Petronas is discussed in the article below.

I'm quoted in William Davison's Bloomberg piece. Here's the quote:
The Maow group has not conducted military attacks in the Ogaden and is “largely an exile organization,” David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Oct. 8.

Here's the full text of the quote I provided:
There are two factions of the ONLF: the group engaged militarily in the Ogaden and led by Mohamed Osman, former admiral of Somalia's tiny navy, and another group led by Salahdin Abdurahman Maow, who lives in Germany. The Maow group is largely an exile organization and, to the best of my knowledge, has not conducted military attacks in the Ogaden. It has been in talks with the government of Ethiopia and says it is ready to sign a peace agreement with Ethiopia in October 2010. Both sides acknowledge this development.

The Osman faction is responsible for the military attacks in the Ogaden and denies any discussions with the government of Ethiopia. It once had support from Eritrea, although that seems to be minimal today. The Osman faction issues regular military communiqués, which are usually highly exaggerated. I am told that the people responsible for issuing the communiqués have generally poor communication with the ONLF commanders on the ground. Ethiopian government accounts of these same attacks probably downplay them; the truth is somewhere in between.

Nevertheless, the Osman faction occasionally carries out a significant attack as in the case of the 2007 attack on the Chinese base camp in the Ogaden used for energy prospecting.

1 comment:

  1. Additionally and I would imagine much to the chagrin of some US Folks, the ONLF shares some strong relationship ties with the Puntland Authorities & people and the PIS.

    I imagine you heard about the recent Osman ONLF 300 soldiers marching across Somaliland on what is said to be their return trip from Eritrea then subsequently pinned down by Somaliland Forces? The question begs that if they were not returning from Eritrea, fully armed to the teeth and flush with weapons, where were they returning from? The area they were crossing doesn't lend any credibility into their returning from Yemen.