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Chinese Energy Workers in Somalia Threatened

Chinese Energy Workers in Somalia Threatened

The Ogaden National Liberation Front has warned Chinese energy exploration companies against operating in the Ogaden ethnic Somali regions currently under Ethiopian control.

In an interview with Shabelle Media Network, the ONLF's head of information Hussein Mohammed Nur, accused the Chinese firms of “plundering” and “looting” the energy resources of the Somalian Ogaden currently under Ethiopian political control, adding that the Chinese firms were now attempting to expand their operations into the Shilabo area.

In April 2007 nine Chinese workers were killed in an attack by armed men on an oil field in eastern Ethiopia. The ONLF is a group of ethnic Somali nationalists based in eastern Ethiopia, promoting the cause of previous groups seeking self-governance for ethnic Somalis throughout the region.

The ONLF describes itself on its website as a “grassroots social and political movement” that serves as an “advocate for and defender of” Somalis in Ogaden, a region of eastern Ethiopia with a large ethnic Somali population, against Ethiopian regimes. The ONLF was founded in 1984 by members from various ethnic Somali liberation groups, with many analysts believing that the ONLF political agenda is to fight to make Ogaden an independent state. ONLF tactics include countering the Ethiopian government’s regional influence by using violence, including murder, kidnappings and bombings.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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