Group to make the demand at historic talks with government
Autonomy bid may intensify a tussle over energy resources
By Nizar Manek, 17 September 2018
A rebel group in Ethiopia said it will demand a referendum on self-determination for the country’s troubled, gas-rich Somali region during landmark peace talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
The plan by the Ogaden National Liberation Front, which has staged a low-level insurgency in Ethiopia’s east for more than three decades, comes as Abiy invites once-banned opponents to take part in elections. The demands may aggravate a scramble for the region’s energy resources, including natural gas reserves the government estimates will eventually earn it $7 billion a year.