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Ethiopian court jails 2 members of outlawed rebel group

Xinhua,December 31, 2017 Adjust font size:

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian Federal High Court in Addis Ababa on Saturday gave prison sentences to two members of Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an outlawed rebel group.

The first defendant Ahmed Abdi was sentenced to 13 years in prison while second defendant Ahmed Mohammed was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The two, residents of Mogadishu in neighboring Somalia, were caught in July 15, 2016 as they were trying to infiltrate Ethiopia from Somalia.

ONLF is an ethnic rebel group which has been operating in Ethiopia's Somali regional state for the last two decades.

The rebel group made international headlines in April 24, 2007 when it launched a deadly raid on an oil field in Ethiopia Somali regional state. The attack left 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese dead.

The oil facility was run by China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec).

After the attack the Ethiopian government undertook a vigorous counterinsurgency campaign and indigenization of the security forces in Somali regional state succeeding in taking the sting out of the insurgency.

It also undertook large scale infrastructure projects to win the hearts of local population who were thought to be sympathetic to ONLF. Enditem