Ethiopian Annihilation Of The Ogaden People – OpEd

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Besieged, abused, ignored

In the harsh Ogaden region of Ethiopia, impoverished ethnic Somali people are being murdered and tortured, raped, persecuted and displaced by government paramilitary forces. Illegal actions carried out with the knowledge and tacit support of donor countries, seemingly content to turn a blind eye to war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by their brutal, repressive ally in the region; and a deaf ear to the pain and suffering of the Ogaden Somali people.

Around five million traditionally nomadic pastoralists – live in what is one of the least developed corners of the world besieged by military oppression, drought and famine.

Democracy denied

When the British, with due colonial duplicity, arrogantly handed the Ogaden region over to Ethiopia in 1954, the ethnic Somali people found themselves under occupation by, what they regard as a foreign power. The centuries old struggle for self-determination, has since 1984 been taken up by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), predictably regarded as ‘terrorists’ by the Ethiopian government; which hunts them down and, with impunity, tortures, imprisons and rapes its members and suspected supporters while carrying out widespread extrajudicial killings.

In 1992 as part of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) much trumpeted, never realized policy of Ethnic Federalism, that promised autonomy and cultural respect to the many tribal groups in the country; ethnic Somalis in the Ogaden were officially acknowledged and inaugural regional elections held. The ONLF, a secular group in a largely Muslim region, “won 60% of seats… and formed the new (regional) government” Human Rights Watch (HRW)i reported. Two years later, and in response to the will of the people, the ONLF called for a referendum on self-determination. The government’s reaction to such democratic gall was to kill 81 unarmed civilians in the town of Wardheer, disband the regional parliament, arrest and imprison the vice-president and several other members of the parliament, instigate mass arrests and indiscriminate killings; this brutal act ignited the current struggle and drove the ONLF into the shadows and its current guerilla war.

Resource rich

The region, rich in oil and gas reserves, is potentially the wealthiest area of Ethiopia. Resources that the indigenous people are understandably keen to benefit from, that the EPRDF sees as another party asset to add to its burgeoning portfolio. Genocide Watch (GW) ii tell us that, “immediately after oil and gas were discovered in the Ogaden, Ethiopian government forces evicted large numbers of [Ogaden Somalis] from their ancestral grazing lands and herded them into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, causing a humanitarian disaster”. If the ONLF are correct and their view sounds more than plausible, the Ethiopian military intends to secure the resources for the government and exclude the local people. The Africa Faith and Justice Networkiii confirms such suspicions, saying: “With the discovery of petroleum leading to exploration missions by foreign companies, the government’s motives are questionable.”

Upfront fees for exploration rights are reputed to have been sold to foreign corporations for between $50 – $100 million, paid by under-informed, overexcited multinationals, who subsequently pull out, having underestimated the logistical problems of working in the region. China Petroleum was one such; they were subjected to an unprecedented ill-judged attack by the ONLF in 2007 that caused the deaths of nine Chinese workmen and, according to China Dailyiv, “65 Ethiopian employees”. The Ethiopian government, itching to intensify the conflict that had been simmering for over three decades, retaliated with excessive brutality, by HRW reports, “launching a brutal counter-insurgency campaign in the five zones of [the] Somali Region primarily affected by the conflict… [Where] the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) has deliberately and repeatedly attacked civilian populations,” killing hundreds of men women and children.

Displaced & destitute

Thousands of terrified Ogaden Somalis have since fled the affected areas. They seek refuge “in neighbouring Somalia and Kenya from widespread Ethiopian military attacks on civilians and villages that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,“(ibid). Large numbers have been made homeless and destitute, accurate numbers are difficult to collate due to restricted access, however human rights groups estimate the number, to be greater than one hundred thousand.

The Ogaden, GW states “has been transformed into a vast military occupied area, with thousands in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.” Most displaced persons, the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)v reports, “sought shelter with relatives or safety in the bush, rather than gathering in organized camps,” where widespread abuse is known to take place, including starvation that GW describes as “genocide by attrition”. These desperate, frightened people are not regarded as refugees and so receive no humanitarian aid support from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). And the EPRDF, consistent with their duplicitous approach to governance, fails to meet dutiful obligations under the historic Kampala Conventionvi which “reaffirms that national authorities have the primary responsibility to provide assistance to IDPs…. (And) … to address the plight of people uprooted within their borders”. The ruling party ignores these requirements, acting not in accordance with international law, the federal constitution or indeed their moral duty.

Especially violent

In 2009, after widespread condemnation of the Ethiopian army’s conduct in the region, the regime formed the highly suspect Liyu (Special) Police. Somaliland Press (26/9/12)vii states, the government “deliberately recruited unemployed youths from the streets”. This shadowy paramilitary force of 10,000 – 14,000, fits, HRWviii says, “into the context of impunity where security forces can more or less do what they want.” Not a group, then, that the British government should be supporting. In a baffling move however, according to The Guardian (10/1/13)ix, the Department for International Development (DFID)x has submitted, a “tender to train security forces in the Somali region of Ogaden”, Amnesty International’s Claire Beston said: “It was highly concerning that the UK was planning to engage with the Special Police..…. There is no doubt that the Special Police have become a significant source of fear in the region.”(Ibid) The DFID in denying the report ambiguously states that, “reforming the Special Police is critical for achieving a safe and secure Somali Region”, failing to recognize that the Liyu force needs not reforming but disbanding and, along with all Ethiopian military personnel, marched out of the region immediately.

State-sanctioned terrorism and genocide

In addition to murder and rape, appalling levels of torture and extrajudicial execution are reported. Thousands, according to GW, “have been arrested without any charges and held in desolate desert prisons”. Mass detention “without any judicial oversight are routine. Hundreds—and possibly thousands—of individuals have been arrested and held in military barracks, sometimes multiple times, where they have been tortured, raped, and assaulted”, HRW report.

Children and women being the most vulnerable suffer acutely, the rape of Ogaden Somali women is a favored weapon of the Ethiopian paramilitary; held in military barracks women are imprisoned as sex slaves, where they are subjected to multiple gang rape and torture. African Rights Monitor (ARM)xi recount one woman’s story that mirrors many and shocks us all. She claims to have been, “raped by fifty soldiers for a period of twelve hours and hung upside down over a pit of fire that had chili powder in…. to suffocate her lungs”.

Statistics of abuse are impossible to state, the numbers are perhaps of less importance than the crimes and the suffering caused, survivors bear the physical scars and mental trauma of their ordeals, from which many may never recover.

A scorched-earth policy involving burning of crops and homes and killing cattle is part of the campaign of state terror, as HRW record, “Confiscation of livestock [the main asset], restrictions on access to water, food, and other essential commodities” have “been used as weapons in an economic war”. As has the destruction of villages, confirmed by evidence from the American Association for the Advancement of Science,xii proving, “that the Ethiopian military has attacked civilians and burned towns and villages in eight locations across the remote Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia.” Such inhumane methods are employed by the EPRDF to instill fear in the Ogaden Somali people and suppress their legitimate demands for autonomy. It is shocking criminal abuse which staggeringly, “GW considers to have already reached stage 7 [of 8], genocidal massacres against many [Ogadeni, Anuk, Oromo and Omo] of its people”. International donors however, who provide a third of Ethiopia’s total federal budget – around $4 billion a year, to their utter shame say and do nothing; neglect constituting complicity.

Village executions

With the region virtually shut off, video evidence smuggled out of Ethiopia by Abdullahi Hussein, a former Ethiopian civil servant is rare. Revealing Somaliland Press (26/9/12)xiii say that, “whole villages have been emptied of inhabitants through executions and mass flight from terror… you can hear members of the Liyu Police desecrate a civilian they have just killed. They stomp on his head and poke his face with a stick.” Such attacks on settlements are routine: Demanding our attention is Qurille village in the Wardeer district attacked in September 2012: Ogaden Online xiv recounts how troops: “Shoot each resident of the town in their custody at point blank range” including women and children. Bodies are hung from trees in a public display of state terrorism, to engender lasting fear. This type of brutality is widespread. HRWxv records how in Raqda village in the Gashaamo district during March 2012, “the Liyu police force summarily executed at least 10 men – in their custody, killed at least nine residents… [and] abducted at least 24 men.”

The killing continued two days later on 17th March, when “Liyu police took another four men from their homes and summarily executed them. A woman whose brother was a veterinarian told HRW: “They caught my brother and took him outside. They shot him in the head and then slit his throat.” Defenseless villages are easy prey for the Liyu and their brutal methodology, as HRWxvi state, “troops have forcibly displaced entire rural communities, ordering villagers to leave their homes within a few days or witness their houses being burnt down and possessions destroyed—and risk death”. Page upon page could be filled with such violent disturbing accounts.

Exclusion of foreign media and aid workers

Contrary to constitutional and human rights law, the EPRDF has imposed a widespread blockade on the Ogaden region, seeking to control the flow of information outside the country as it does within its borders, where it allows no freedom of the media; of expression, of assembly or of political dissent. Add to this the outlawing of trade unions and the partisan distribution of aid and a picture of a brutal totalitarian regime emerges from the duplicitous mist of politically correct, democratic rhetoric.
Attempts to work in the region by international media and humanitarian groups are seen as criminal acts, punishable under the widely condemned anti-terrorist proclamation. Two Swedish journalists investigating human rights abuses in the Ogaden, made headlines in July 2011 when they were attacked and arrested by the Liyu police and subjected to a terrifying ‘mock’ execution. Charged and sentenced in Ethiopia’s kangaroo court to 11 years imprisonment, they were later released having served 400 days in appalling conditions. Reporters from the New York Times, The Telegraph and Voice of America have also been imprisoned and expelled, so too United Nations (UN) workers and staff from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who were arrested and accused of being spies! Wrapped in paranoia, the EPRDF suspended 42 NGOs in 2009 for reporting government human rights abuses in the region and, in 2007 in what must be the EPRDF’s Pièce de résistance, the International Committee of the Red Cross were expelled.

In addition to the information embargo, the region is subject to what HRW describe as “severe restrictions on movement and commercial trade, minimal access to independent relief assistance,” and the “politicized manipulation of humanitarian operations, particularly food distribution”; meaning food supplied by donor countries is stolen to feed the Ethiopian army and the Liyu force. This in one of the worst areas for drought and famine in the country, where, In-Depth Africaxvii reports, “1,539,279 people (30% of the population) in the region lack food, water and health services”.

Peace and justice for the people

The little known conflict in the Ogaden is a cause of intense tension between Ethiopia and Somalia and a destabilizing issue in an unstable region. It is a fight that has been distorted by the former Government of Somalia, which sought to misrepresent the issue and transform it into a boundary dispute; a misconception that suits the Ethiopian regime keen to avoid the substantive point of regional autonomy.

All efforts to facilitate a lasting peaceful resolution to what is an age-old struggle should be urgently made, Ethiopia’s donors and facilitators, principally America, along with the European Union and Britain must act with due responsibility. Action should be taken to: Close down IDP camps and the people allowed to return to their communities; aid provided for rebuilding villages (not to train the Liyu) destroyed by the military; regional elections organised and a referendum on self-determination held.

The appalling atrocities committed daily by the Ethiopian paramilitary constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity that should immediately be referred to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. They are, though, just the deepest wounds within a scarred body of human rights abuses, violating federal and international law, being perpetrated by the EPRDF regime throughout the country and with utter impunity. This must end and the Ogaden Somali people, allowed to determine their own destiny and to live in peace.

i. http://www.hrw.org/node/62175/section/4
ii. http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopia.html
iii. http://www.afjn.org/focus-campaigns/other/other-continental-issues/80-democracy-and-governance/874-the-ogaden-crisis-the-horn-of-africas-invisible-humanitarian-disaster.html
iv. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-04/24/content_858956.htm
v. http://www.internal-displacement.org/countries/ethiopia
vi. http://www.internal-displacement.org/kampala-convention
vii. http://somalilandpress.com/ethiopia-a-wave-of-atrocities-against-villages-in-ogaden-35429
viii.  http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/09/201291795840290803.html
ix. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/ethiopia-forces-human-rights-funding
x. http://www.dfid.gov.uk/news/press-statements/
xi. www.africanrightsmonitor.org/pubs/1.pdf Concerns over the Ogaden Territory Report
xii. http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2008/0612ethiopia_intro.shtml
xiii. http://somalilandpress.com/ethiopia-a-wave-of-atrocities-against-villages-in-ogaden-35429
xiv. http://ogaden.com/hornnews/ogaden/1495-ethiopian-mass-murder-in-miirdanbas-qoriile.html– By Mohamud A. Dubet
xv. http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/28/ethiopia-special-police-execute-10
xvi. www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/features/ethiopia/index.html
xvii. http://indepthafrica.com/in-ethiopia-a-war-on-humanitarian-agencies-and-staff/#.UPBCpVRl8Xw In Ethiopia: A War on Humanitarian Agencies and Staff

Graham Peebles

Graham Peebles is a freelance writer and director of The Create Trust a UK registered charity he founded in 2006. He has run education projects & teacher training programs in Palestine, India and Ethiopia where he spent two years working with acutely disadvantaged children, young people and women in Addis Ababa. He is currently working on a book project about Ethiopia.

Contact: [email protected]

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14 thoughts on “Ethiopian Annihilation Of The Ogaden People – OpEd”

  1. Re: An Artists? Overt or Covert Operative-Vision of the Ogaden in Ethiopia? Justifying ONLF Terror Without Impunity? You be the judge!

    I am writing to respond to this article from the perspective of GPS, that is Good Governance, Progressive Prosperity and Sustainable Security for All global citizens.

    Good Governance is about transparency, accountability and responsiveness to all public and private stake holders. Sustainable Security is about continuous vigilance and surveillance for the security of the community at large. That surveillance includes reviewing such offensive and outrageous article you just published. As such my first comment is who are you accountable to?

    It is with this perspective I request the EuroAsia Editors how did you vet this article for timeliness, accuracy and completeness. Is this article designed to provide accurate, fair and balanced perspective or designed intentionally to provoke and support the terrorist activities in the Horn!

    Do we want to see what is happening in the Magreb, Mali, Algeria and Libya be replicated in the Horn?

    What is the mission, intent and design of this article? Who are the target audience? How can we make the author accountable in the end?

    Are you a real artists or foreign intelligent agent with intentions to disrupt the good governance, sustainable security and progressive prosperity of the people of Ogaden, Ethiopia and Africa?

    How can you justify your offensive article that you put forward yourself as the representative of the Ogaden or Ethiopian people with no representation or any formal endorsement from the local people.

    The lives of Ethiopians and Chinese that was massacred by the terrorist cries out against your lop sided erroneous fabrications! It is the duty of Global Citizens to challenge and demand justice for their lives.

    You seem to talk about terrorists and yet do not condemn the terrorist who killed peaceful Ethiopians and Chinese in the first place. It is amazing how you callously interpreted the terror activity as an invitation by some rent seeking bureaucracy. At no place were you outraged about the terror in the first place.

    The real question is how can we make you and what you write accountable to the standards of journalism, or any decent human being be it a covert or over operative like you who is making huge assumptions and taking the value and culture of a society down the tube.

    It is amazing how an artist as you say of your caliber can state that the terrorists who killed 65 Ethiopians and some 21 Chinese do not need to come to justice.

    Imagine if you were one of those Chinese and Ethiopians and some one of your caliber say your son wrote such expose which is supportive of terrorists!

    It is amazing who gives you the right and privilege to call a government elected by some85 million people to be a terrorist and you have no representation or legal training to make such gross unaccountable claims and have the audacity to ask for War Crimes!

    Imagine if the people of Ogaden and Ethiopia took you to court under blackmailing and misrepresentation of facts, blasphemy and outright support and facilitate terrorist acts in their country.

    Just imagine, what will be the picture. As I write this I am reading the CIA Director Confirmation hearing in Congress and see how dedicated the congress and the hearing process is to address the role of drones, in effect assassination tools in the world today,

    The time has come to take the tools of GPS, that is Good Governance, Progressive Prosperity and Sustainable Security to covert and overt operatives like you who write such great blasphemy and think you can get away with it.

    My suggestion is that the Ethiopian Government and the Government of Ogaden should take you to court and get the facts behind your allegation.

    For a change, operatives like need to go to the Human Rights Court of Justice be it at the UN or the African Continent.

    I believe the arm of justice should be available to all. You are justifying the efforts of ONLF terrorists as freedom fighters and encourage mayhem in Ethiopia and for that you should be made accountable.

    The days of such unsubstantiated claim, mockery of justice are gone.

    You and all journalists should be made accountable. In the end it is in the interest of Good Governance that all of us account for our actions and you are no exception.

    Imagine if you were put to the Senate Intelligence Hearing like Paul Brennen and wonder where you will get your substantiations?

    I just wondered. The time has come for the Global 7 Billion People to demand transparency, accountability and responsiveness from all its citizens be it in private and public sector where ever they live.

    A Global Community Free from Terror can only take place when all 7 Billion people are involved in active vigilance and surveillance of terrorists and their promoters.

    That day is coming soon!

    With regards and seeking your alternative perspective

    I remain yours sincerely

    Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
    [email protected]

  2. Belai, your intention to silence journalists like Graham and of threatening them is a clear resemblance to your government’s Zero Tolerance Policy on journalists and reporters and jailing and torturing them just like the two Swedish journalists inhumanely treated, tortured, beaten and forced to lie about their noble job and told to say they were terrorists. It is sad you are blindly and with full of hate for Somalis that you support dictatorship and tyranny that may soon turn on you too. Good luck. Keep living in the dark. We’ll keep fighting for justice and freedom. Free Ogaden!

  3. Thanks Graham.
    I appreciate your efforts to unveil of what most of the writers and reporters ignore or don’t bother about.
    I am well informed and have witnessed almost any type of atrocities you mentioned in your article which amounts crimes against humanity and constitutes in to a genocide committed by Ethiopian military and allied.
    I am not sure if the western countries are interested about the human rights after pouring millions of dollars to Ethiopia and facilitate Ethiopian mass murder genocide and extrajudicial killings, burning village’s rape and torture to Somalis in Ogaden.
    Thanks once again and ogaden people appreciate your support

    Sh G

  4. Author Graham Peebles depicted clearly the indiscriminate crimes against humanity commited by the Ethiopian attrocities in Ogaden region.And in that,this inhumane Blood-sucker called Belei would just want to Silence the rights of the less-fortunate people of Ogaden region by calling the Freedom Fighters terrorists.However ,the sufferings in Ogaden region had became an International issue whereas,the people of Ogaden region uninamously stood up for thier rights and Sometime soon the Ogaden people shall be Free from Ethiopian occupation! Free Ogaden!

  5. It is quite interesting that anytime an individual who does not buy into the Tigrian, current ruling clan in Addis Ababa, ‘terrorist’ propaganda, the messenger is attacked rather the message. It is evident that individuals of Mr. Belai Habte-Jesus’s ilk do not have anything to counteract the message contained in this well written article that highlights the plight of the Ogaden people.
    The Ogaden plight and current troubles with colonial subjugation started with when the very White, British, colonial interests conveniently coincided with those of the Tigrian and Amhara highland rulers at the time in what was then known as Abyssinia, modern day Ethiopia.
    It was why the Ogaden was given away by the British empire in what is widely known in the literature as the British Ethiopian treaty of 1897 as a way to dissuade it from siding with the Sudan’s Mehdi army that the British was battling in Sudan at the time. To this day, the Ogaden has not tasted a day of peace since that day.
    What is fascinating is that Mr. Habte-Jesus accuses he writer for something he did not claim in the article anywhere: being official representative of the Ogaden citizenry. I had to re-read and re-read the article to see if may be I may have missed or misread anything that the author wrote in this carefully crafted article by a foreigner who may not know the deep black history of the Ogaden populace.
    He, Mr. Habte-Jesus, hid his dislike and displeasure in having the Tigrian tyranny and the genocide it is perpetrating in the Ogaden published in the pages of a well-read site such as Eurasiareview by using jumbled jargon such as GPS. The article is not only timely as it comments on the British International Development Agency’s bankrolling of the local militia in the Ogaden region doing the dirty work of the Tigrian clique in Addis Ababa, but it addresses the very good GPS ideals that Mr. Habte-Jesus hides behind while attacking the author of the article.
    Trying to align with the so-called ‘War on Terror’ bandwagon by calling the very people, the Ogaden Somalis, ‘terrorist’ is a kin to a mass murderer calling his victims murderers.
    One thing that Mr. Habte-Jesus got it right is that should the Ethiopian perpetrators of genocide in the Ogaden not be reined in and prosecuted in the Hague, it may come to a point where the people of Ogaden are left with nothing else to defend themselves but to resort to anything that would inflict whatever damage they could on the Tigrian ruling clique in Addis Ababa. This, in turn, could engulf the entire horn of Africa region so before it comes to that the world community should bring the perpetrators of the Ogaden genocide to book.

    Suxufi, Msc.

  6. Belai who are you to say all this i am Proud Of Mr Graham Peebles for Being Honest With this Article and saying the Truth what is happening In The Somali of Region Ogaden in Ethiopia and you saying”My suggestion is that the Ethiopian Government and the Government of Ogaden should take you to court and get the facts behind your allegation” who are you to judge, an artist, writer and director of The Create Trust? well Done Mr Graham Peebles and you did a Gr8t For For Somali People In Ogaden Region are Voiceless and People who are idiots Like “Belai Habte-Jesus” they are the One who making The Hidden Genocide and In Ogaden region of Ethiopia, impoverished ethnic Somali people are being murdered and tortured, raped, persecuted and displaced by government paramilitary forces. ONLF Will Still Fight till Freedom,Justice and Peace Ring In Ogaden Region “Free Ogadenia” From People who are idiots Like “Belai Habte-Jesus”

  7. Belai habte Jesus :

    First of all change the name Jesus you are abusing, becouse Jesus we. Good prophet ,kind , not a murderous as you and your goverment.

    Belai we know you are Employed to appease any article written by international media, to try hide crime committed the terrorist regime of adisababa.

    Belai, you and terror regime you support accussed this people below:

    1. United states personal ( becouse they support onlf)
    2. Msf. ( becouse they are onlf)
    3.icrc. ( becouse they are onlf)
    4.all media. ( becouse you hide your crimes)

    Today every goverment or human rights organisation know the minority rulers in adis ababa are killing thousands of innocent civilians.

    This crimes you would never have committed without the help and aid of european union or United states.

    The oppressed people of ogaden Will soon get back their freedom .

    Garham peebles thank you for being good human being who cares the crime against civilians.

  8. Dear Graham Peebles,

    This is well done report with many facts about the situation in the Ogaden and Ethiopian governments’ attitude about the indigenous people in the country, and many thanks for that. The same things are with the people of Afar, Gambella and Oromo, and there are many articles about the situation in these regions. The last reported were about the organized displacement on the pastoralists and farmers in the South Omo, Gambella and Afar. I am Ethiopian and aware all things in the Ogaden and the organized human crimes and genocides by the Abyssinians on the Ogaden people; their land and livestock. The Somali region (Ogaden) is Ethiopia’s ‘own Darfur, where government runs war and organized human genocide, and blocks food aid delivery and trade, humanitarian access in the region. Women, children and older people are the most vulnerable groups to suffer abuse and violence and misuse of humanitarian aid in these regions. Ogaden humanitarian crisis is the worst one in Africa and Middle East.

    The Ethiopian government is not willing to see any development and also relief aid going to the pastoralist areas; Oromo, Afar, Gambella and Somali (Ogaden) regions. Ethiopian government blocks humanitarian food aid and operations, diverts and distort food aid to feed military forces and militias in the Somali region (Ogaden). Because of the ongoing conflict, military operations, humanitarian crisis and human abuses, Ethiopian government target humanitarian agencies and media have no access to operate in the Ogaden region. Ethiopia’s donors and UN are aware of these problems, but have done little to address the problems or tackle their own role in underwriting government repression.

    There is no freedom, human rights protection, and right to development and aid in Ethiopia, as well as Ogaden region. Ethiopian government lacks basic principle on the citizens’ human rights protection, good governance and accountability in basic services delivery and aid operations. Ogaden is a milk caw for the Abyssinians; their politicians and amy force officials in in Addis Ababa and Ogaden region. The best villages and houses in Mekelle, Hawassa, Bahirdar, and Finfine (Addis Ababa) are built by the looting money from the Ogaden region. Journalists, UN and humanitarian agencies in area are not allowed to assess the actual needs on the ground. Therefore, Ethiopian Government is doing its dirty trade on aid going to the Ogaden region and cannot meet the needs of vulnerable pastoral communities in the region. Relief food is only source of income for the level government officials and militias at local level. WFP relief food goes through the government channels. The food is delivered where there are militia presences only. NGOs are not allowed to monitor humanitarian situation and operations and share with about these incidents, otherwise the government will close these organizations and arrests staff members. Government accuses humanitarian workers that, they support rebels and opposition groups, and share with UN and donors information about humanitarian situation of the country.

    The government punished local communities and also authorities in the regions by accusing them that, they support rebels and opposition groups! There are more than one hundreds ways of punishing people by the Ethiopian government, including the organized displacement, buried wells and burning of villages, restriction of aid delivery, looting the aid and money for relief and basic services, detention of civilians and local government officials, organized terror on the indigenous people through federal armed forces and Jenjawed Militia “Liyu Police or Special Police”, and other ways.

    Foreign missions, journalists, humanitarian agencies and workers are not allowed to travel to the drought and conflict affected areas in the country, especially in the Ogaden region. However, poor humanitarian management with serious violations and detention of the aid workers and absence of rule of law in Ethiopia will not change the humanitarian situation in the region. The problem with the Ethiopian government is very clear, but there are questions about silence of the UN and donor government and organizations about Ethiopian government and its organized crimes on aid delivery and access problems in the drought and conflict affected areas of the country, especially in the Ogaden region.

    Read more on:
    http://indepthafrica.com/ethiopia-where-is-the-hrd-humanitarian-requirements-documents-for-2013/#.URSnOB1g-5w
    https://crowdvoice.org/abuses-against-ogaden-people-in-ethiopia

  9. first of all i want to thankfull to mr graham who give and show us the reality situation of the horn specially in Ogadena Region, secondly i realy surprised what the EPRDF (the dectator Regime) responded the truelly information, it’s shamefull to see the addiss ababa’s Regime still trying to hide what is Going on in Ogaden Region while we are in 2013 lol

  10. As a commentator on Ogaden issues and citizen of that war battered region, who has personally suffered at hands of the current EPDF/TPLF Ethiopian government, I’m extremely thankfull to Graham Peebles for telling my (and our collective Ogaden) predicament in the most honest way possible. The people of Ogaden are grateful to courageous persons such as Mr. Graham Peebles, Gefrey Gentleman of the New York Times, the president of Genocide Watch Mr. Gregory H. Stanton, and others, for standing with them in the moment of their need and bringing our plight and suffering at the hands of the Ethiopian regime to world attention. We will forever be grateful to you.

    I hope the international community listens to your recommendations and acts on them.

    Many thanks,
    Nuradin Jilani

  11. I am grateful and appreciate Mr Grham for the courageous article about the truth of how Ethiopia treaties the Somali people in the Ogaden region. It is about time the world acts and requests from Ethiopia accountability and transparency on how it spend the aid it receives from the world.

  12. Dear Sir,

    Why do not Australians leave the whole of Australia to indigenous people? Why do not the US give back the whole of USA to indigenous people? Why do not the whole of White Settlers in South Africa leave to Europe leaving the land to indigenous people? Why Kenya leave its Garissa Region to Somalis? Why Kenya return the whole of coastal region to Cost people? Why the UN do not call a general assembly to redraw the entire world and get every border and everyone to their former press. Why you drum trumpet for Mandela and consistently criticize Mugabe? Because Mugabe gave the land to the real owners by taking from the white settler, is that not? You adore and worship Mandella because he did not take the resources which is due to the people of South Africa, whites are not touched and he is superman. We are tired of your selective campaign to destabilize the region and the world. The middle kicked your ass out of its place and you now have turned your face to Africa, why? Because of oil. Why do not you right about Somali-land people who have been given their freedom by UN in 1961 and who have joined the union with Somalia, but killed in masses to the tune of 55,000 people by the soldiers of Siad Barre. Now they escaped the tyranny and the suffering of 21 years of Somalians but no journalist, no investigators do not want to report that as I write their sovereignty is being denied by the international community and the mainstream media. Britain is doing to Somaliland, exactly what it did to Ogaden some years back. Please leave alone, your coming is the source of our problem.

    Let me remind you 1992 is the year Somalia collapsed. can you tell em what wold have been the final result If Ethiopia allowed Somali region for self determination? Let us put it into context. It will be the case the region will choose to secede and what happened to Somalia will happen to Somali region. Have you carefully observed that the ONLF represent only 50% of the region’s population? The other regions are Somalis but they are not from the same clan. Their is a stiff competition among st themselves. They would have faced the fate of Somalia If Ethiopia let them go. On top of that Ethiopia would have been distablized. Do not be naive and do not start the next war in the region please. First, let you the rich country people leave Africa. Next we will solve our probelem. We are tired of white master telling us what to do and what not to do. I will understand this is your job and your income earner. Shit, it is the economy!

  13. The conflict in the Ogaden stems from the ill-advised colonial policies of the British. The Somali people of Ogaden have never ever been part of Ethiopia historically, and have resembled closer to the state of Somalia, politically, economically and most definitely socially. Self-determination is the only solution to ending the crisis taking place in the Ogaden.

    The West needs to realize that the situation in the Ogaden is identical to that of South Sudan, these people have gone through genocide by successive Ethiopian regimes, since 1964, and EPRDF is by far the worst in Ethiopian History. What is taking place in the Ogaden can only be described as systematic genocide.

    Over 300,000 refugees from the Ogaden reside in the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya, hundreds of thousands of others are refugees in Somalia. More than a million are internally displaced; rape used as a systematic weapon, children as young as 12 have been forced into government sponsored militias known as the “Liyuu (Special) Police.”

    Satellite images by the American Association for the Advancement of Science show entire village’s burn to the ground by Ethiopian military and their sponsored militias. The genocidal massacres taking place in the Ogaden is visibly evident.

    The World Must Act and put a stop to this crime against humanity. The reality is, the Ethiopian regime is not at war with the rebels, they have waged war on the people, the civilian population of the land.

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