By Godfrey Olukya 10-9-2012
Peace talks between Ethiopian Government and Ogaden rebels have started .
The talks which are meant to bring an end of clashes between the rebels and Ethiopian state are mediated by the Kenyan government.
A statement issued by Ogaden rebels said,’ We are holding peace talks with the Ethiopian government. Last Friday we held preliminary discussions in Nairobi.
Since 1984, Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been fighting for autonomy of Ethiopia’s eastern region, which is dominated by the Somali people. But the Ethiopian authorities have always insisted that such can not happen.
Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki reportedly blessed the talks saying they are meant to bring about peace in the region. Apart from intiating the talks, he also appointed a team led by Internal Security Minister Yusuf Haji to coordinate the negotiations.
Ethiopia’s Communication Affairs Minister Bereket Simon confirmed that the talks have kicked off.He said,’ Holding talks is a positive step.’
During the Friday meeting rules to be followed during negotiations were put in place. Subsequent talks will also be held in Nairobi on a date to be announced.