Current status of the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) and treatment of its members and their families (1998-1999) [ETH31497.E]

No information on the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF), nor on the treatment of its members and their families could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to a 30 August 1998 PANA article, the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) is now known as Al Itihad, an Islamic fundamentalist group which "had been involved in intermittent guerrilla fighting in the vast Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia, claiming it wants to liberate the territory." Country Reports 1998 describes the Al Itihad group as a Somali-based "terrorist" organization (1999, 1). Referring to "informed sources", a 3 July 1998 AFP article stated that the Al Itihad group, in fighting for the independence of the Ogaden region, was accused of the abduction of six International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers on 25 June 1998 in the eastern Ogaden region.

Please see ETH30688.E of 8 December 1998 on the relations between the Ethiopian government and the Al-Itahad group.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP) [Paris, in English]. 3 July 1998."Ethiopia: Ethiopia- Muslim Group Holds Red Cross Workers Hostage (FBIS-TOT-98-184/WNC)

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998.1999. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

Panafrican News Agency (PANA) [Dakar]. 30 August 1998. Ghion Hagos. Somalia; "Aideed Accepts Ethiopia's Mediation in Somalia." (AN/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London]. January 1998-March 1999.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. January 1998 - December 1998.

Electronic sources: IRB databases, Internet, NEXIS/LEXIS, REFWORLD, WNC.

Focus on Africa [London]. January 1998 - December 1998.

Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala]. January 1998 - October 1998.

Jeune Afrique [Paris]. January 1998 - March 1999.

La Lettre du continent [Paris]. January 1998 - November 1998.

New African [London]. January 1998 - January 1999.