Ethiopian American Forum

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A letter to Los Angeles Times Print E-mail



Don't glamorize insurgents 

Re "Ethiopia's war on its own," Opinion, Feb. 25

Ronan Farrow sends a misleading message about Ethiopia's effort to battle international terrorism and local insurgents. The article failed to study the geopolitical intricacies of the Horn of Africa and the emergence of terrorism as a weapon of proxy war by a rogue regime in the region.

He quoted a single person in Kenya claiming Ethiopian security forces were responsible for human rights abuses, but the "separatist rebels" had merely carried out a few attacks. To set the record straight, as recently as last April, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, or ONLF, with the military and financial support of the Al Itahid Al Islamia and Union of Islamic Lords, massacred 74 Ethiopian and Chinese oil exploration workers inside the Somali region of Ethiopia. The separatist ONLF, in collaboration with the Al Shebeb jihadist operation, has murdered dozens of local government officials and clan leaders and targeted civilians by planting mines on roads.

The Ethiopian government acted responsibly to bring the perpetrators to justice. Peace and stability are now largely reestablished, enabling the free flow of humanitarian assistance to the Ogaden region.

The best way to check international terrorism is neither by hiding one's head in the sand nor by glamorizing insurgents and misrepresenting them as liberators.

Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie
Consul General of Ethiopia, Los Angeles

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