Ethiopian poll agency registers ONLF

National Electoral Board of Ethiopia has registered Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) ahead of the country’s general election.

The body has issued a certificate of registration of ONLF, this move will allow the group to participate in the upcoming elections.

The group which transformed into the political party has changed its emblem by replacing the guns at the centre with pens.

The registration of ONLF comes days ONLF elected Abdirahman Mahdi as the organization’s chairperson following an election held in Goday town of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State.

Mahadi who had long been serving as ONLF foreign secretary received 340 votes while his Challenger Ahmed Yasin got 247.

The ONLF was among two other groups that were removed by parliament from the list of banned movements – part of a reform driven by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has extended an olive branch to dissidents.

On August 12 last year, ONLF declared a unilateral ceasefire, and some of its members have returned to Ethiopia.

The group whose base was in Ethiopia’s neighbouring Eritrea for decades had staged a deadly attack against Ethiopian forces in the past.