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Ogaden National Liberation Front
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) is a separatist rebel group fighting to make the region of Ogaden in eastern Ethiopia an independent state. Technically, the armed wing of the ONLF is the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA). Because Ogaden is populated by ethnic Somalis, the ONLA claims that Ethiopia is an occupying government. The ONLF is composed mainly of members of the Darod Asambe clan located near Gode , Ogaden. Founded in the late 1980s by Makhtal Dahir , it is currently led by Chairman Mohamed O. Osman . While the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) was considered to be the major rebel group in the region around 1988, its eastern wing was organizationally weak. This allowed the ONLF to grow and compete with the OLA for support in regions such as Harerge, Bale, Sidamo, and Arsi. On 21 July 1991, the ONLF and the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) announced that they had effectively merged. The ONLF held "elections" in December 1992 for the self-proclaimed Somali District Five in Ethiopia. In January 1993, ONLF members were elected to the District's presidency and vice-presidency. The ONLF continues to operate as of 2005 and is the target of low-level military operations by the Ethiopian army.
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