Breaking: ONLF vice chairman and veteran member Hassan Moalim resigns

Hassen Moalim. Picture: screen-grab from a recent interview Hassen has with Prime Media.

By Bileh Jelan @Bilejelan

Addis Abeba, November 06/2020 – Hassan Moalim, vice chairman of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), and the party’s Addis Abeba office bureau head, has resigned from the his position and party membership, he told Addis Standard.

A member of ONLF’s central committee who has served the party since 1991, Hassen mentioned various reasons for his resignation in a message sent to Addis Standard. His resignation comes in the midst of news of serious fracture within the party’s central committee members as of late.

“Since ONLF returned home, there have been several problems, chief among them are deep rooted fractures; group divisions that led to disrespect of the party’s structural disciplines and principles, and lack of good governance,” he said.

Hassan said he has tried his best “to find solutions to these clouds of challenges and to maintain the unity of the party in order to serve the country with trust and goodwill. However, all my efforts were in vain.”

He added that “after thoroughly evaluating the existing reality, I have reached at a conclusion that it is impossible to find a solution.” Such situation will lead to tripping one another and internal brinkmanship for power, he said, and “this is bad for the Somali people and the country.”

Due to these reasons I have resigned from my responsibilities entrusted on me by the party and membership from the party effective today November 06. I ask party members to forgive each other and would like to assure all that I am ready to serve my country and the people as a responsible citizen,” the message reads.

Hassen joined the ONLF in 1991 and started serving the party as its bureau head in Dhagaxbuur (Degehabur), Somali region. He has served the party in various capacity including as the executive and central committee member.

Hassen, seated 6th from right.

After two decades in exile, ONLF signed a historic peace agreement, in which Hassen said he played a key role, with the Ethiopian government on 21 October 2018 in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. ONLF had since returned home and is currently a political party registered by the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).

The ONLF is one of the oldest rebel groups established in 1984.  The group has been on Ethiopia’s terror list until 2018 when the Ethiopian parliament removed three opposition rebel groups: OLF, PG7 and ONLF, off the list.

Addis Standard’s attempts to reach ONLF chairman Abdirahman Mahdi for comments were not successful. AS

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