By Ahmed Abdi-Mareeg.com-Jigjiga -As Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn says that his government will release political prisoners and close Maekelawi camp he did not mention “Jail Ogaden” in the occupied-Somali territory of Ogaden.
The Notorious prison known as “Jail Ogaden”, about 80 kilometers East of the city of Harar has been the worse detention camp of the Somali region.
The Prison, which is home to several thousand men and women inmates including political prisoners that live in unbearable living conditions and systemically starved and brutally beaten on an hourly basis deserved to be closed as well.
Somalis in Ogaden has never been addressed their grievances and instead treated as aliens by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated Government of Ethiopia.
On Thursday, More than 35 protesters reportedly arrested in the district town of Ararso in the province of Degehabur. The officials of the Ogaden Regional Government feel that the protests were fuelled by Jidwaq clan activists—one of the largest Somali clans in the Ogaden Regional State —in the U.S.
When TPLF took over the central government in 1991 it formed Federalism and new charter in which the people in the Somali territory applied to article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution, which defines the right of ethnocultural communities to self-determination, including the right to establish a regional state or independent state.
In 1994, Ogaden Parliament held their first vote for independence, where 84% of voters said they wanted ‘Ogadenia’ to be an independent state. Since then, Ogaden relations with the TPLF-EPRDF soured.
Ogaden was part of Greater Somalia until the English annexed to Ethiopia on November 29, 1954. Since then the people of the Somali territory waged an armed struggle against its illegal occupation.
The Ethiopian government failed to crush Ogaden rebellion militarily since 1994 yet unwilling to end the Ogaden conflict politically.