Abduction of ONLF Officials Augurs Badly for Talks with Ethiopia


Amb David Shinn

Somalilandsun- Read below excerpts of an interview with Ambassador David Shinn conducted by the chief Editor of Ogadentoday press on the recent abduction of two senior Ogaden National Liberation Front-ONLF officials in Nairobi by Ethiopian Intelligence agents

Ambassador David Shinn: This abduction does not auger well for successful peace talks between the ONLF and Ethiopia

Ogadentoday Press has asked Ambassador David Shinn- A former US ambassador to Ethiopia 1996-1999 about ONLF’s official’s abduction In Kenya.

1- ONLF, Ogaden National Liberation Front has said in statement that two of their senior leaders have been kidnapped in Kenya? What is the impact of the action of proposed peace talks between ONLF and Ethiopia?

2- Will this affect the Kenya and Ethiopian relationship, since we know that Kenya and Ethiopia have signed security pact last years?

3- Does this mean that Ethiopia is not ready for real and meaningful peace talks in Ogaden?

Ambassodor David Shinn’s answers are here below:

Press reports from Kenya indicate that two members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) were abducted on 27 January 2014 outside a restaurant in Nairobi. Kenyan police are reportedly investigating the incident.

Unnamed ONLF officials stated the two persons were ONLF central committee members invited by Kenyan officials to participate in peace negotiations with Ethiopian government officials. ONLF officials further alleged that security agencies from Ethiopia and Kenya were involved in the abduction of the two ONLF negotiators. I have not seen any official response from either Kenyan or Ethiopian officials. The facts surrounding this abduction are not clear, especially from my location in Washington, which is more than 12,000 kilometers from Nairobi.

This abduction, whoever is behind it, does not auger well for successful peace talks between the ONLF and Ethiopia. Nor does it reflect positively on security in Nairobi. However, there will not necessarily be any impact on Kenya-Ethiopia relations. Any impact on this relationship will depend largely on who was behind the abduction. Nor does it necessarily reflect that Ethiopia is not ready for peace talks with the ONLF. Again, it depends on who carried out the abduction and the nature of their motives.

Ogadentoday Press