The Ethiopia government and the United Western Somali Liberation front (UWSLF) signed peace deal to end the long run war in the Somali ethnic region in Ethiopia.
The peace deal was singed in Addis Ababa where representatives of the Ethiopia government, UWSLf, African Union, and the Untied Nations gathered.
The peace accord grants amnesty to all leaders and prisoners of UWSLF while the group will lay down their arms. The government also agreed to rehabilitate and integrate Front’s soldiers in to the community.
UWSLF Leader Sheikh Ibrahim Hussein promised to work for the peace and security in the region.
“We have opted peace in order to ensure human rights and participate in the ongoing development efforts, instead of insurgency activities which hinder development and violate human right of children, women and elderly”, Hussein said.
National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister with the rank of Minister, Abay Tsehaye, also pledged that the government will work closely and reach agreement with all parties willing to operate peacefully and abide by the constitution.
The United Western Somali Liberation Front (UWSLF), a rebel group active in the Ogaden region, has been fighting against Ethiopia forces in the Somali ethnic region since 1977.
The United Western Somali Liberation Front played a major role in the Somalia and Ethiopia war in Ogaden region, where European powers helped Ethiopia to take over.
But in 1977-78, Somalia-Ethiopia border war, Somali forces and UWSLFgained 90% of the Ogaden region. The army was pushed out by Ethiopians backed by Soviet.
Until that war, UWSLF was fighting for the independence of Ogaden region to look for and join great Somalia, Somalia, Djibouti, the Ogaden region and Northern Frontier District (the North Eastern
Province of Kenya).
But another rebel group of Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) is still saying that they will continue their attacks against Ethiopia forces in the ogaden region in western Somalia.
“The Ogaden is part of great Somali nation in the Horn of Africa and we are fighting for rights all Somali rights”, the group spokesman Mahdi Abdirahman told BBC World Services.
Muhyadin Ahmed Roble is Kashmir watch Africa Correspondent and based in Nairobi.