The rebel movement in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), does not appear to stand much chance of taking control of substantial territory, but their activities are worth keeping an eye on. Recently the ONLF captured – or claimed to capture – a town called Galalshe. The incident has attracted attention partly because of the rebels’ assertion that they freed two captured employees of the World Food Programme.
“The Ogaden National Liberation Army of (the) ONLF has captured the town of Galalshe in Jigjiga Region near Babili,” the group said in a statement that did not disclose any dates.
The rebels said they had inflicted casualties on government troops while also capturing armaments and ammunition.
“The (ONLF) army found hundreds of civilian prisoners detained in the Galalshe jail who had been tortured and badly treated. Among the prisoners found were the two WFP workers abducted by the Ethiopian Army,” it added.
The conflict in the region has been exacerbated by drought and food shortages. As with other conflicts in this latitude, the specter of climate change lurks in the background. A rise in temperatures in the coming century could make conflicts like this one even fiercer.
This map pinpoints Babili, near where the rebels said they captured Galalshe.