Former rebels belonging to Ethiopia’s Ogaden National Liberation Front, ONLF, on Wednesday returned to the country from their base in neighbouring Eritrea.
The contingent were flown from Asmara to Jijiga, capital of the Somali Regional State, SRS by an Ethiopian Airlines flight. They were received with cultural displays upon their arrival at the airport.
ONLF’s known Twitter handle earlier on Wednesday tweeted photos from Jijiga where they were being awaited by residents of SRS. “Somali people in Jijiga and the regional army prepare to welcome ONLA special forces from Asmara,” the tweet read.
The group’s spokesperson had told the Voice of America’s Somali service on Monday that they were returning to Ethiopia. The return forms part of a peace deal reached with the federal government.
— ㊗️ (@shukriyeey) November 21, 2018
The group in mid-November signed a peace deal with the Ethiopian federal government in Asmara, where they have been based.
As part of the deal “The two sides have reached a historical agreement regarding the political rights of the people from Somali Regional State and genuinely addressing the root causes of the conflict between ONLF and the Ethiopian government,” ONLF said in a tweet.
As at the last meeting, there was also the announcement of a joint committee established for further discussions. The first round of talks between the two parties was in September this year. Months earlier the Ethiopian parliament had struck them off a list of terrorist organizations whiles they also called a ceasefire.