Photo: UN Photo/Stuart Price.

In this seminar, Tobias Hagman will give a talk on the peace negotiations between the Somali rebel group Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Ethiopian government. The ONFL, an armed rebel group banned by the Ethiopian government, has been operating in the Somali region of Ethiopia since 1984 , while the Ethiopian government has responded by conducting counter-insurgency operations in the region, particularly after ONLF attack on oil installations in 2007 . The presentation will be followed by a discussion between Hagman and Professor Abdi Samatar on whether  the ONLF activities and the Ethiopian government reactions are connected to the situation in neighbouring Somalia, linking this to the regional dynamics of conflict in the Horn of Africa.

Tobias Hagman is an Associate Professor at  Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University, working on state failure and formation, theories of the state, armed conflict and peacebuilding. Since 1998, his research has concentrated on the Horn of Africa - particularly Ethiopia and the Somali territories. He is a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute in London/Nairobi, an associated researcher at the University of Zürich's Political Geography research group, and a member of the editorial working group of Politique Africaine. His latest publications include ‘Reconfiguring Ethiopia: The Politics of Authoritarian Reform’, Abdington, Routledge, 2013 (edited with Jon Abbink) and ‘Contested Power in Ethiopia: Traditional Authorities and Multi-Party Elections’ Leiden & Boston, Brill, 2012 (edited with Kjetil Tronvoll).

Abdi Samatar is a Professor at the Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, focusing on the relationship between democracy and development in the Third World in general and Africa in particular. He has a special interest in the political developments within Somalia and the Horn of Africa, and some of his publications related to this include ‘The Dialectics of Piracy in Somalia: the Poor versus the Rich, Third World Quarterly, December 2010 and ‘Faithless Power as Fraticide: Is there an Alternative in Somalia?’ International Journal of Somali Studies, 9, 63-81, 2009. He will be giving a presentation at CMI the day before this seminar, see