By Ahmed Abdi
Somalilandsun – The Al-Qaeda-linked group of Al-Shabab and the Ogaden National Army (ONLA) fought against the Somali National Army and the African Union Forces in Bakool region in recent week’s fierce battle that killed more than 40 people,according to Bakool Governor ,Mohammed Abdi Tool.
The governor said the ONLF which is an armed militia that fight against Ethiopia crossed into Somalia and helped the militant group in an Aato district near the Somalia border. “We have credible information about ONLF’s involvement in the fight last week”,Mr.Tool said.
The Al-Shabaab carried out a deadly attack on army bases in Aato Village last week. The joint forces of Somalia and Ethiopia then launched a massive operation on several towns where the militants were hiding.
ONLF Spokesperson,Adaani Hirmooge, voiced his rejection the allegation regarding that fighters from Ogaden national Liberation Army (ONLA) fought beside Al-Shabab against Ethiopian National Defense Forces,Somali National Forces and Ethiopian Liyu Police militia to Sahra Abdi Ahmed’s VOA Somali Service,saying: “We have no desire to fight against loyalist Somalis as we (ONLF) fight to liberate Somalis in Ogaden from Ethiopian occupation.We fought against TPLF in Kalefo in Libaan provinces in Ogaden but this is not the first time that we heard such kind of allegations.Over the past 15 years more than 20 Somali politicians said this.
“They said without clear evidence ONLF fought in Jawhar,in Kismayo,and in the central Somalia regions it seems,whoever is defeated in the battlefield claims that the ONLF is part of the fight.They always say this when they get hurt and the pain of the bullet touches them in bid to receive Ethiopia’s TPLF assistance against their fellow Somali rivals”, the ONLF Spokesperson.
“This Man referring to the Somali governor,Mr.Tool, is neurotic that Ethiopia requested to act as an Ethiopian mouthpiece because he is paid or threatened.It is truly amazing how dirty a country can be towards Somali officials and Ethiopia is a good example”,he added.
When he was asked whether ONLF has permanent Military bases inside Somalia or not ,he said in a response ,”ONLF has no bases in the Republic of Somalia,but we have supporters and well-trained Army in Ogaden region . Mr. Hirmooge,was also urged by the Somalis to unite against their archenemy of Ethiopia and to support ONLF its fight against what he called “Colonial Power.”
ONLF has been fighting against Ethiopian regimes since 1984 and wants its oil and gas Ogaden region to gain full Independence from Ethiopian highlanders. Peace-talk between ONLF and Ethiopia stalled in Oct 17,2012 ,after the ONLF refused to accept Ethiopian constitution which it says it says the Ethiopian constitution does not concern the Somalis in Ogaden.