, NAIROBI, Feb 6 – Two Kenyan police officers were released on bail Thursday after they denied kidnapping two Ethiopian rebels in the Kenyan capital.
Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo freed the two, an inspector and a constable from the Criminal Investigations Department, on a bond of Sh2 million each.
They were accused of kidnapping two senior officials of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) of Ethiopia, Ali Ahmed Hussein and Sulub Abdi Ahmed, at a restaurant in Nairobi on January 26.
The ONLF has been fighting since 1984 for independence for the resource-rich Ogaden region of Ethiopia, which lies on the border with Somalia.
It accused Ethiopia’s secret services of being behind the kidnapping of its officials, who were in the Kenyan capital as part of a bid to restart peace talks with the Ethiopian government.
An ONLF official told AFP the two kidnapped men had been taken to the Ethiopian border and handed over to the authorities there.
The group said the incident was a breach of trust that would “represent a serious obstacle to any future discussions with Ethiopia.”
“We call on the Kenyan government… in its capacity as facilitator (in the talks) to undertake an in-depth investigation and to ask the Ethiopian government to hand back the people who were seized,” the ONLF said last month.
One ONLF faction signed an agreement with Addis Ababa and agreed to lay down its arms in June 2010 after talks in Germany, but the hard core of the movement has continued fighting.