Viewing cable 06ADDISABABA1326
Title: ETHIOPIA: GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES MILITARY OFFENSIVE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06ADDISABABA13262006-05-12 09:04:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Addis Ababa
VZCZCXRO2408
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #1326 1320904
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 120904Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0508
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 2244
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T ADDIS ABABA 001326 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF DAS YAMAMOTO, AF/E, AND CA/OCS/ACS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2016 
TAGS: MOPS CASC PREL ET KN
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES MILITARY OFFENSIVE 
AGAINST ONLF 
 
Classified By: Charge Vicki Huddleston for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (S/NF) SUMMARY.  Two senior Ethiopian General officers 
told DATT May 9 and May 11 that Ethiopian National Defense 
Forces (ENDF) have begun an offensive aimed at neutralizing 
Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in the Somali region. 
 The Ministry of National Defense advised that Combined Joint 
Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) civil affairs teams 
should restrict their movement to the towns of Gode and Kebri 
Dehar.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (S/NF) LTG Samora did not reveal what triggered the 
operation, CJTF-HOA Commander Rear Admiral Richard Hunt and 
embassy RSO offered two possibilities in a May 10 meeting. 
However, ENDF Head of Operations Main Department said this is 
part of the larger ENDF effort to crush the various 
insurgencies in Ethiopia.  Hunt told Ambassador Huddleston 
that he had received reports of abnormal ONLF troop buildup 
and increased movement of weapons from Eritrea to the Ogaden 
region. According to Admiral Hunt, this may have contributed, 
at least in part, to the ENDF's increased military posture in 
the region.  Embassy RSO noted that China and possibly 
Malaysia were expected to commence drilling for natural gas 
shortly, and that the ENDF may be increasing its presence in 
Ogaden to protect the companies' assets and personnel against 
ONLF attacks.  (Note: ONLF issued a statement April 24 
warning foreign firms not to work in the region and announced 
that the armed conflict between the ENDF and ONLF forces 
created an unsafe environment for any exploration to occur. 
End Note.) The ENDF conducts continuous counter insurgency 
operations against the ONLF in the Somali region. 
 
¶3. (C) The CJTF-HOA civil affairs teams have not deployed out 
of CJTF-HOA in Djibouti and the other team located in Gode 
will not move outside the town.  Embassy has convened an 
emergency action committee meeting to assess the impact of 
increased military activity in the Ogaden region and, as a 
result, all Americans will be advised to avoid travel in the 
zone where the operations are taking place.  A travel warning 
for this zone will be issued May 12. 
HUDDLESTON