Published February 18, 2013
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopian rebels are warning a Canadian oil company against oil exploration in the country's east.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front, or ONLF, said Monday the region is unsafe for the Africa Oil Corporation and said it should halt operations until the rebels make peace with the government.
The ONLF is blamed for the 2007 attack on a Chinese-run oil field in the region in which scores died.
The Ethiopian government spokesman downplayed the statement, saying the region is peaceful and that the rebels don't pose a real threat.
Africa Oil Corp. says it has three projects in the country including in the Ogaden Basin where ONLF has been fighting the government. The rebels want to create an independent state in the Ogaden region, which is inhabited by mostly ethnic Somalis.