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LIST OF ALL
REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTIES
According to the National Electoral Board, 65 legally recognized political parties were active in Ethiopia as at April 1997. Of the 65 licensed Parties, 7 operate at the national level while 58 are regional. According to Ethiopia's proclamation for party registration issued in 1993, to receive a license a national party should have 1,500 founding members with 40 percent of them expected to be regular residents of a region and the rest at least permanently living in four regions. A regional political party having 750 founding members with over 40 percent of them being permanent residents of a region can operate legally after registering and receiving a license.NATIONAL PARTIES - AAPO (All Amhara People's Organization); CAFPDE (Council of Alternative Forces for Peace & Democracy in Ethiopia); EDU (Ethiopian Democratic Union); ENDP (Ethiopian National Democratic Party); EPDP (Ethiopian Peace & Democratic Party); EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front); TJPF (The Joint Political Forum). REGIONAL PARTIES - ALF (Afar Liberation Front); ANDM (Afar National Democratic Movement); ANDM (Amhara National Democratic Movement); ANLF (Afar National Liberation Front); APDM (Agew People's Democratic Movement); APDM (Argoba People's Democratic Movement); APDO (Afar People's Democratic Organization); APDUO (Alaba People's Democratic Unity Organization); BNWEPDUP (Benishangul North Western Ethiopia People's Democratic Unity Party); BPDO (Basketo People's Democratic Organization); BPDO (Burgi People's Democratic Organization); BPRDM (Bench People's Revolutionary Dem. Movement); BPUDM (Burgi People's United Democratic Movement); BWEPDO (Benishangul Western Ethiopia People's Democratic Organization); DDKDO (Denta, Debamo, Kitchenchla Dem. Organizat.); DPDO (Derashe People's Democratic Organization); DPDO (Donga People's Democratic Organization); DPRDO (Dawero People's Revolutionary Dem. Organizat.); ESDL (Ethiopian Somali Democratic League); GDU (Gamo Democratic Unity); GGPDO (Gamo & Gofa People's Democratic Organization); GPDUP (Gambela People's Democratic Unity Party); GPLP (Gambela People's Liberation Party); GPRDM (Gideo People's Revolutionary Dem. Movement); GPRM (Gurage People's Revolutionary Movement); HNL (Harari National League); HPDO (Hadiya People's Democratic Organization); JENNDP (Joint Ethiopian Nations & Nationalities Democratic Party); KNDO (Kebena Nationality Democratic Organization); KNUDO (Kore Nationality Unity Democratic Organization); KPC (Kembata People's Congress); KPDO (Kembata People's Democratic Organization); KPDO (Konso People's Democratic Organization); KPDP (Konta People's Democratic Party); MPDO (Mareko People's Democratic Organization); NDU (National Democratic Union); OALB (Oromo Abo Liberation Front); OLUF (Oromo Liberation United Front); ONC (Oromo National Congress); ONDO (Oida Nationality Democratic Organization); ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front); OPDO (Oromo People's Democratic Organization); SEPDF (Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Front); SEPDU (Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Unity); SOPDM (Southern Omo People's Democratic Organization); SPDM (Shekecho People's Democratic Movement); SPDO (Sidama People's Democratic Organization); SPDUP (Seld People's Democratic Unity Party); SPLFP (Somali People's Liberation Front Party); TPDO (Tembaro People's Democratic Organization); TPLF (Tigrayan People's Liberation Front); TWNUDO (Tigray Worgi Nationality United Democratic Org.); UOPLF (United Oromo People's Liberation Front); WPDO (Wolayta People's Democratic Organization); WSDP (Western Somali Democratic Party); YPDF (Yem People's Democratic Front); ZPDO (Zai People's Democratic Organization); ZPDO (Zeisei People's Democratic Organization).
............................................................................................................................................................TIGRAYAN PEOPLE'S LIBERATION FRONT (TPLF)
1/ MELES ZENAWI (Prime Minister); 2/ TEWOLDE WOLDE MARIAM (MP, Advisor to the Prime Minister); 3/ ABAY TSEHAYE (Head of SAERT); 4/ SEYE ABRAHA (Chairman of EFFORT); 5/ ALEMSEGED GEBRE AMLAK (MP, Advisor to the Prime Minister); 6/ SEYOUM MESFIN (Minister of Foreign Affairs); 7/ KINFE GEBRE MEDHIN (General Manager of National Security, Immigration & Refugee Affairs' Authority); 8/ GEBRU ASRAT (President of the Tigray Regional State); 9/ MULUGETA ALEMSEGED (PM's Chief of Secretariat); 10/ BETEW BELAY; 11/ SEBHAT NEGA (Member of the BOD of EFFORT); 12/ Ms AREGASH ADANE (Secretary of the Tigray Regional State); 13/ MULUGETA GEBRE HEYWET (Member of the BOD of EFFORT); 14/ HASSEN SHIFA (Responsible for security in Tigray); 15/ BERHANE GEBRE CHRISTOS (Ambassador to the United States); 16/ GETACHEW ASSEFA (Head of security in Addis Ababa); 17/ ADDIS ALEM BALEMA (Ambassador to China); 18/ ABADI ZEMO (Member of the BOD of EFFORT); 19/ YEMANE KIDANE (Chief of the cabinet in Ministry of Foreign Affairs); 20/ TEWODROS HAGOS (Member of the BOD of EFFORT); 21/ ARKEBE OQUBAY MITIKU (Member of the BOD of EFFORT); 22/ AWALOM WELDU (Ambassador to Eritrea); 23/ SOLOMON TESFAYE GEBREIGZI (Director of Addis Consultancy Co.); 24/ ABRAHA KAHSAY; 25/ ABAYE WELDU; 26/ GEBRE MESKEL; 27/ TSEGAYE BERHE (Vice-President of the Tigray Regional State).
............................................................................................................................................................ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE'S REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT
TPLF POLITBUREAU (Tigrayan People's Liberation Front) - MELES ZENAWI; TEWOLDE WOLDE MARIAM; ABAY TSEHAYE; SEYE ABRAHA; ALEMSEGED GEBRE AMLAKANDM POLITBUREAU (Amhara National Democratic Movement) - DAWIT YOHANNES; TEFERA WALWA; BEREKET SIMON; ADISU LEGESE; TAMRAT LAYNE (dismissed in October 1996) OPDO POLITBUREAU(Oromo People's Democratic Organization) - KUMA DEMEKSA; NEGASSO GIDADA; YONATAN DEBISSA; HASSEN ALI; ALI ABDO SEPDF* POLITBUREAU (Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Front) - KASSU ILALA; ABATE KISHO; DEREJE DOKOGUCHO; MARKOS LOREN; MATIAS WANTANO
[*] The SEPDF consists of: BPRDM (Bench People's Revolutionary Democratic Movement); BPUDM (Burgi People's United Democratic Movement); DDKDO (Denta, Debamo, Kitchenchla Democratic Organization); DPDO (Derashe People's Democratic Organization); DPDO (Donga People's Democratic Organization); DPRDO (Dawero People's Revolutionary Democratic Organization); GDU (Gamo Democratic Unity); GPRDM (Gideo People's Revolutionary Democratic Movement); GPRM (Gurage People's Revolutionary Movement); HPDO (Hadiya People's Democratic Organization); KNDO (Kebena Nationality Democratic Organization); KNUDO (Kore Nationality Unity Democratic Organization); KPDO (Kembata People's Democratic Organization); KPDO (Konso People's Democratic Organization); SOPDM (Southern Omo People's Democratic Movement); SPDM (Shekecho People's Democratic Movement); SPDO (Sidama People's Democratic Organization); TPDO (Tembaro People's Democratic Organization); WPDO (Wolayta People's Democratic Organization); YPDF (Yem People's Democratic Front)
REGISTERED OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES
THE ALL AMHARA PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATION
The AAPO was formed in November 1991 by Asrat Woldeyes, along with Hailu Shawel and Nekea Tibeb. It openly defended the rights of the Amharas by opposing the new regime's regionalisation policy. The party has been legally reconised, although its president Asrat Woldeyes has been jailed since June 1994 after being convicted of calling for armed rebellion against the government.
THE COUNCIL OF ALTERNATIVE FORCES
FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY IN ETHIOPIA
The CAFPDE was set up in the aftermath of the opposition conference held in Addis Ababa, December 18 to 22, 1993. The conference was headed by Beyene Petros, president of the HNDO (Hadiya National Democratic Organization). CAFPDE includes the following parties: APDO (Agew People's Democratic Movement), a faction of the EDU (Ethiopian Democratic Union) led by Ras Mengesha Seyoum, KPC (Kembata People's Congress), NDU (National Democratic Union), TJPF (The Joint Political Forum) and SEPDC (Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition) headed by Beyene Petros. The SEPDC was formed on March 11, 1992 as a coalition of ten political organizations that had seats in the Council of Representatives (transitional parliament) and representing five regions (7, 8, 9, 10 & 11) formed by proclamation n°7/1984 (1992). By November 11, 1992, the coalition had increased to fourteen. The founding ten were: BPDO (Burji People's Democratic Organization); GPDO (Gedeo People's Democratic Organization); GPDF (Gurage People's Democratic Front); HNDO; KPDU (Kaffa People's Democratic Union); KPC (Kembata People's Congress); OPDF (Omo People's Democratic Front); SLM (Sidama Liberation Movement); WPDF (Wolayta People's Democratic Front); YNDM (Yem Nationality Democratic Movement). When in 1993 the SEPDC backed the resolutions adopted by an opposition conference held in Paris in March 1993, the HNDO was exluded from parliament. The EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front) - dominated parliament demanded that SEPDC members renege on the Paris opposition conference resolutions or give up their seats, triggering a two-way split in the SEPDC. Four parties with eight seats in the transitional parliament -- the SLM, OPDF, YNDM and GPDO -- backed the HNDO and were excluded from the assembly. Five other parties -- the KPC, GPDF, WPDF, BPDO and KPDU -- backed off, retaining their nine seats in the Council.
NON REGISTERED OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES
COALITION OF ETHIOPIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES
COEDF was formed in April 1991, at a meeting held in Washington, by the EPRP (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party), the Meison (All Ethiopia Socialist Movement), the EDU (Ethiopian Democratic Union), the TDPM (Tigray Democratic People's Movement) with some civic groups, human rights and community organizations and associations. COEDF is multi-ethnic and has an executive committee of 15 members and a representative council of 30. It has in the past run an opposition radio from Moscow, and runs one now from Washington (off and on). It publishes COEDF Highlights in English and Hak in Amharic. COEDF was the main group which organized the Paris Peace and Reconciliation Conference which led to the Addis Ababa Conference of the same name in December 1993 (which led to the formation of CAFPDE). The COEDF now consists some 35 community organizations, forums and civic bodies.ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE'S REVOLUTIONARY PARTY (EPRP) - The main component of the COEDF is the EPRP formed in 1972, the first major force to oppose Mengistu Haile Mariam. Among the most publicly known EPRP leaders are Mersha Yosef (whose real name is Belayneh Negatu), the first chairman of COEDF, and Fasika Belete (COEDF present secretary). A faction of EPRP members in 1991 formed a movement called Forum 84 (1984 on the Ethiopian calendar corresponds with 1991 on the Gregorian calendar) which rallied behind the new Ethiopian regime. ALL ETHIOPIA SOCIALIST MOVEMENT (MEISON) - Once a powerful organization at the time it was allied with the military regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam, Meison has now lost much of its former clout. It is led by secretary general Abera Yemane-Ab (also COEDF foreign affairs head, jailed in Addis Ababa since December 1993) and by Negede Gobezie (a founding leader now exiled in Brussels). ETHIOPIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION (EDU) - The EDU is a conservative organization which was formed by Generals Nega Tegegn, Iyassu Mengesha and Ras (Prince) Mengesha Seyoum. It fought against the military regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam (Derg). It was backed by Sudan and in its heyday occupied large parts of Gondar and Tigray. It also fought both against the TPLF (Tigrayan People's Liberation Front) and the EPRP but was defeated militarily by the Derg and forced to retreat to Sudan, where it split into several factions. It formed a united front with the EPRP and re-entered the field in the early 80s. The EDU faction under Ras Mengesha and Major Iyassou Ayalkibet joined forces and became members of the COEDF. When the TPLF entered Addis Ababa in 1991, Ras Mengesha split from the COEDF and joined the Transitional Conference while COEDF was refused participation by the TPLF. The EDU led by Ras Mengesha is legal in Addis Ababa and is in opposition as a member of the CAFPDE. TIGRAY DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT (TPDM) - The TPDM, led by TPLF former central committe leader Dr Haile (a man in his late sixties), was a weak Sudan-based movement opposed to the TPLF. It was a member of COEDF until June 1991. It withdrew from COEDF and applied for legality in Addis Ababa but was denied recognition by the TPLF and has now become defunct. HIBRE HIZB GROUP - A small group led by Desta Damtew and Alem Ante which is based in the USA. COEDF - PO Box 21307 Washington DC 20009 - Tel: (1-202) 3325458; Fax: (1-202) 3325461; President: MULUGETA SEYOUM (no group affiliation); Vice-presidents: Major IYASSOU AYALKIBET, aka MAJOR KIDANE (from the EDU), BASHAHWERED AYELE (from the Hibre Hizb group); Secretary: FASIKA BELETE (from the EPRP).
ETHIOPIAN UNITY FRONT
The EUF (Yeethiopia Andinet Ginbar in Amharic) was created secretly in July 1996. COEDF is the main component of the EUF, along with the BPDM (Benishangul People's Democratic Movement) and a majority faction within KPF (Kefagn Patriotic Front). BPDM grew out of the political crisis in Western Benishangul Gumuz regional state which saw members of BWPDP (Benishangul Western People's Democratic Party) break off relations with the ruling EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front) in Addis Ababa during the second half of 1995. KPF was an armed militia active in Gondar Province which fought against the previous regime headed by Mengistu Haile Mariam and then opposed the TPLF as it progressed in the region. However, the KPF faction in the EUF includes armed elements of the group from Ethiopia or from Sudan, but does not include those in the United States who also lay claim to the same name. The EUF platform calls for a democratic Ethiopia enforcing human rights within a pluralist system. It favours a "democratic federal republic" where self-rule would be based on equality between the country's various nationalities and the defence of their common interests. It also calls for a free market with the proviso of maintaining the public sector in strategic domains of the economy. On the international level, the EUF stands for non-alignment and the respect of the United Nations and Organization of African Unity charters. Finally, it calls for the formation of a multi-ethnic army with no links to any political movement and devoted to defending the integrity of Ethiopian territory. The EUF has opted for armed struggle to implement this democratic programme because it considers that all paths to peaceful dialogue with the EPRDF government are blocked. It says it is therefore working to establish a unified armed force which can carry out anti-government military operations. The EUF has called on other ethnic groups and multi-ethnic organizations to join its ranks.
OROMO LIBERATION FRONT
When it was created in 1975, the OLF had little strength due to the fact that it had different branches with no strong central leadership. One group had an office in Mogadishu, opened in late 1979, with members from the Moslem majority in Arsi, Hararge and Bale regions. A second group, based in Khartoum, was supported both by the EPLF (Eritrean People's Liberation Front) and TPLF and had relations with Protestant churches, in particular with the Lutheran Church in West Germany. The principal leaders of this wing were either Meison or ECHAAT (Oppressed People's Party of Ethiopia) members and included the following: Taha, Befekadu Wakjira, Yohannes Letta, Getachew and Tadesse Ebbaa. In the 1980s, the two wings fighting against the Mengistu regime jointly numbered about 8,000 fighting men. The wing based in the southern part of the country seemed better armed and organised, however, as they operated in Moslem areas where the population was more sensitive to the question of religion and more readily supported a combat in the name of Islam. In the western part (Wollega), fighters were less numerous and the region more hostile to guerrilla war against the Addis Ababa regime. After Mengistu Haile Mariam was ousted in May 1991, the OLF attended the London Conference (May 1991) and then the July 1991 Peace and Democracy Conference in Addis Ababa that adopted the Transitional Charter of Ethiopia. Four OLF ministers were appointed to the first transitional government in August 1991: Dima Neggo (Information), Ibsa Gutaama (Education), Ahmed Hussein (Trade) and Zegeye Asfaw (Agriculture). The OLF subsequently split ranks with the regime during the June 1992 regional elections and went underground, with its ministers leaving the government and its leaders fleeing the country. Its guerrilla forces were disarmed by the TPLF, undercutting the strength of the movement.OLF - General Secretary: GELASSA DILBO. Offices outside Ethiopia: UNITED KINGDOM, 15 C Oxford Road, London N4 3HA; Tel : (44-171) 2636681; Fax : (44-171) 2723954; Representative: TAHA ABDI. UNITED STATES, PO Box 73247, Washington DC 20056; Tel : (1-202) 4625477; Fax: (1-202) 3327011; Representative: ABIYU GELETA. CANADA, Po Box 98560 JPPPO, 873 Jane Street, Toronto M6N 4C0; Tel : (416) 6041289; Fax : (416) 6041898; Representative : TAMAM YOUSOUF.
ISLAMIC FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF OROMIA
The IFLO is led by Abdulkarim Ibrahim, better known by his nom de guerre Jarra Abba Gada. The IFLO was set up after a split within the OLF and was initially called Jihad Oromo Ibrahim Bilissa. Between 1978 and 1988 it waged guerrilla war against Mengistu. After taking part in the Peace and Democracy Conference of July 1991, several IFLO leaders (including Ahmed Yusuf Ahmed and Ibsa Gutu) were killed in January 1992 in the eastern town of Dire Dawa by EPRDF (government) soldiers. The IFLO then went underground and boycotted the June 1992 regional elections. The IFLO is still active in rural areas inhabited by Moslem Oromos, notably in Harar, Dire Dawa and the south-eastern part of Oromia Regional State.
AFAR REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC UNITY FRONT
The ARDUF was formed in March 1993 as a coalition of three organizations : the ARDU (Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Union), set up in July 1991 by Mohamooda Gaas, the AUDF (Afar Ummatah Demokrasiyyoh Focca) and the ARF (Afar Revolutionary Forces). The ARDUF was opposed to the division of the Afar region between Eritrea and Ethiopia and called for the reunification and autonomy of Afar territory. Mohamooda Gaas was elected in May 1995 as secretary general of ARDUF but he turned down the post, handing it to his deputy Muhyadin Mafatah. ARDUF has been weakened however since the latter's extradition in August 1996 from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, where he was jailed along with two other Afar leaders who held positions of authority during Mengistu's rule, Habib Mohamed Yayo and Jamal Abdulkadir Redo. Early in 1997, the Ethiopian government started peace talks with ARDUF, but refused to allow Mohamooda Gaas to take part. By April 1997, the negotiations had shown no sign of producing a settlement.
THE AFAR POLITICAL PARTIES
AFAR LIBERATION FRONT
The ALF was set up in the early 1980s and grouped the followers of the old sultan of Awsa, Ali Mirah, who now shuttles between Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. The party's roots go back to the Sultan's opposition to the agrarian reform launched by the Mengistu regime in 1976. The movement has wide support from the Afar population, but internal quarrels were responsible for its failure to win a majority in the 1995 elections to the Regional Council of Afar Regional State, where it has only 12 seats out of a total 48. The party's internal disputes stem partly from rivalry between the Sultan's sons, notably Hanfareh Ali Mirah (ALF chairman, then president of Afar region between September 1995 and March 1996) and Habib Ali Mirah, who is more openly hostile towards the Tigrayans of the EPRDF. After being accused of collaborating with the EPRDF, Hanfareh was disavowed by his father but maintained at the head of the region by the central authorities before being sacked in March 1996 and replaced by APDO leader Ismael Ali Siro. The ALF has three of the eight Afar Region seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives (Hassen Abdella, Ali Enaro and Neina Tahiro).
AFAR NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT
The ANDM was established in 1994 as part of a genuine desire to take part in the new political life of the Afar Region and Ethiopia. It is an independent organization composed of Afar nationalists. The figure who spawned the organization and led it in the 1995 regional elections is Ahmed Mohamed Ahaw (Son of Sultan Mohamed Ahaw, Sultan of the Northern Afar Region whose capital is Girrifo) who has traditional authority in Zone 2 and Zone 4 and whose traditional authority extends across the Italian colonial border. Ahmed Mohamed Ahaw no longer heads the ANDM, which has now moved closer to the Ethiopian government and is led by Ali Mohammed Saleh, nicknamed Ali "Muhandis", or "Engineer", who graduated in Libya.
AFAR NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT
Initially known as the ALF (Afar Liberation Front), the ANLF was formed in the late 1980's by the EPLF (Eritrean People's Liberation Front) to combat Afar nationalism from within. But later it was disbanded by EPLF as Afar nationalism grew within the rank and file of the organization. In 1993, the organization was given the name of ANLF to avoid confusion with the ALF of Sultan Ali Mirah. The ANLF won 10 seats on the Afar Regional Council in 1995 and an MP to the House of Peoples' Representatives. Though it is officially recognized, many of the ANLF's founders (including former leaders of the Afar autonomous region under Mengistu) such as Habib Mohamed Yayo, Jamal Ed Din, Yusuf Yassi and Jamal Abdulkadir Redo, have been successively arrested.
AFAR PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION
Initially this organization was created by the TPLF and named the TADO (Tigray Afar Democratic Organization). Later, when the TPLF partly transformed itself into an Ethiopian organization, it upgraded TADO to represent the whole Afar People, naming it Afar People's Democratic Organization (APDO) in 1992. The APDO took advantage of the internal divisions of the ALF to win 23 of the 48 seats in the Regional Council at the 1995 elections. It also has three of the eight Afar Region seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives (Abubeker Mussa, Mur Abakerim, and Ali Mohammed Ahmed, the last also being chairman of the Social Affairs Committee). The APDO is headed by an Afar born in Tigray, Ismael Ali Siro, president of the Regional Council since March 1996. Eight members of the APDO political bureau are from Zone 2 of the Afar Regional State (including Ismael Ali Siro and the secretary of the APDO, Mohamed Ambata), and three of them are from Zone 4. These administrative zones of the Afar Regional State, which are now areas that border the Tigray Regional State, used to be part of the Tigray Administrative Region. Three other members of the APDO political bureau are non Afars, but ethnic Tigrayans.
In the May 1995 regional and general elections, Afar parties won the following seatsAFAR STATE COUNCIL (48 members) - APDO (23), ALF (12), ANLF (10), ANDM (2), DMA (Democratic Movement of Arguba (1). HOUSE OF PEOPLES' REPRESENTATIVES - Of a total eight seats, three for the APDO: ABUBEKER MUSSA, MUR ABAKERIM and ALI MOHAMMED AHMED; three for the ALF: NEINA TAHIRO, ALI ENARO and HASSEN ABDELLA, one for the ANLF: AWEL WITIKA, and one for the DMA: TAHIR MOHAMMED. HOUSE OF THE FEDERATION - Members elected in the Afar Region designated the following members to the House of the Federation: AHMED MOHAMED AHAW (ANDM) and IDRIS KIAR ALI (ANLF).
THE ETHIOPIAN SOMALI POLITICAL PARTIES
ETHIOPIAN SOMALI DEMOCRATIC LEAGUE
The ESDL was set up in February 1994 by merging some dozen Somali political and clan groups, including DAL (Democratic Action League) led by Mohamed Shek Ibrahim, representing Ethiopian Issas; EGDO (Ethiopian Gaboyye Democratic Organization), founded by Ahmed Abdi Jeeh; ESDM (Ethiopian Somali Democratic Movement), close to the SNM (Somali National Movement) of Somaliland and very divided; GLF (Gurgura Liberation Front) led by Abdelasis Ahmed; HDP (Horiyal Democratic Party), from the WSLF (Western Somali Liberation Front), led by Abdi Ismail and representing the Gadabursi; the IGLF (Issa and Gurgura Liberation Front), headed by Riyaale Ahmed, which, since a split in 1991, only defends Issa interests (essentially the control of the Djibouti-Ethiopian railway line). The pro-government ESDL which hope to become part of the EPRDF is headed by current Transport minister Abdulmejid Hussein (Issa Habar Awal). It has 76 of the 139 seats in the Regional Council and 15 of the Somali Region's 23 seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives, as well as the two seats for the autonomous city of Dire Dawa. Though it has little support among the Ogaden, the ESDL is backed by the northern clans, the Issaq, Dir (Issa, Gadabursi, Gurgure) and the non-Ogaden Darod (Bartire, Yabare, Mejertein, Dhulbahante). Some southern Hawiye clans (Garre, Digoodiya) also support the ESDL. In January 1997, the president of the ESDL said an accord had been reached with the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front, in fact the movement's so-called internal faction) to form a joint movement against the Moslem fundamentalists of Al-Itihad Al-Islam.
WESTERN SOMALI DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Spawned by the WSLF (Western Somali Liberation Front), the WSDP was set up in 1975 and is headed by the former president of Somali Region (Region 5), Hassan Jire Kalinle, an Awlyahaan Ogaden. Backed primarily by the Ogaden people, the WSDP has 11 of the 139 seats in the Somali Regional Council and two of the 23 Somali Region seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives. The WSDP represents a third path between the ESDL and ONLF.
OGADEN NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT
The ONLF, which was set up in 1985 and represents especially the Darod of the Ogaden clan, is extremely divided over the question of working with the central authorities, with some factions calling for "constructive opposition" and others, more radical, inspired by fundamentalist, secessionist or pan-Somali ideologies. ONLF officials in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and Jijiga, along with uncontrolled elements claiming to belong to the ONLF, do not follow the same policies or leaders. 31 of the 139 members of the Regional Council of Somali Region claim to belong to the ONLF (but some refuse to sit in the chamber for various reasons), while three ONLF MPs sit in the House of Peoples' Representatives. But other ONLF members signed an accord with the OLF in London in June 1996 to fight the Ethiopian government.HOUSE OF PEOPLES' REPRESENTATIVES - There are three independent MPs from the Somali Region in the House of Peoples' Representatives: AHMED SHEK ALI, KURFA SULTAN GARINE & OUMER HASSEN YAKOB. The president of the Legal Affairs Committee, ABDULAZIZ AHMED, is an ESDL MP and a Somali Gurgura. HOUSE OF THE FEDERATION - Ethiopia's Somalis are represented in the House of the Federation by four members: HASSEN IBRAHIM (Issaq Idagale), ABDULAHI SHEK ALI (Hawiye Digoodiya), Ms AHDO JAMA (Jaarso) & ZIAD BEDRI (Ogaden Reer Issaq Ali, who was vice-president of the chamber before being sacked in April 1997 and replaced by MOHAMMED SERAHEYON).