Ethiopia: Shocking Widespread Arrests in Ogaden
By Ahmed Abdi 14/11/2013(Mareeg media)The Silence of Western and African diplomats when it comes human rights abuses in
Ogaden Region, is not being Somalis in Ogaden,Muslims and Ethiopian government,
Christian as many locals believe, but injustice happens anytime, any-where says, an
Ogadeni intellectual, Sulub, citing a story happened in a Somali village.
“A father willed all his property (livestock) as a heritage to his sons when he was
at his bedside, not sooner than his corpse buried into the grave,the elder son
started to sell the livestock one-by-one without the consent of his younger brother
or giving him a share. The Younger brother continued to complain to the elders that
his older brother was selling the livestock without the consent of him or giving him
a share, but nobody listened to him as his older brother refuted the claim. As he
(the younger brother) got older, he borrowed a gun from his sympathizer friend and
made known to everybody in the village that he had only two options: ‘Either to get
back his share or to kill his corrupt, older brother?’ Then Everybody listened to
him and involved in the case’.
This story samples to International Community,mainly the Western and African
diplomats that held meetings in Addis Ababa and ignore the plight of the Somali
population in ogaden Region, he said
Ethiopian Government made very difficult for Journalists and writers about the
region to enter into region to cover what is going on freely. The Only way to
receive the news is to send calls to the people on the ground.
On Monday night,I spoke with Sahra Hassan( Not her real name) on phone and she
said:”I was walking the main street,Kara’marda,when gradually I encountered a lot of
Liyu Police,I saw them blocking all the lines and scooping out all the people that
were passing through.Then, arresting and taking young men between 15 to 30 years
old.And Beating with their guns those resisting arrest ”
“I had completely shocked and scared,then I returned to my home,It was the strangest
thing I have seen recently”,she added.
The Notorious Liyu Police militia is accused of serious human rights abuses by the
rights groups such as Human Right Watch,Amnesty International and Genocide Watch.
According to local sources,several thousand people were arrested.This Security sweep
comes after the Regional Administration of Jigjiga preached for several months that
its hosting the Ethiopia’s Nations’ and People’s Day which is due to the end of
November.And It’s believed that the puppet Administration is draining the sea to
secure the big fish.
In an Ogadentoday Press portal,writer Mohammed Farah reported civilians killed in a
part of this crackdown.
As the Group, Ogaden National Liberation Front website states, “The Notorious Jail
Ogaden, where thousands of innocent civilians are tortured to death is located just
few hundred meters away from the festival area”.
Nobody can visit his/her jailed relatives in Ogaden Jail and those arrests will
likely to end up in Ogaden jail without taking them to court.
MSF and Red Cross were operating and providing assistance to villagers in the
Ogaden, but expelled from the region when they were accused of middling in the
political affairs in the region, a charge they strongly denied.Those (NGOs) remained
in the region are under government surveillance, and when it comes to reporting
human rights abuses in the region that they witness occurring in front of their
eyes. They(NGOs) face a stark choice indeed, to remain in Ogaden region to keep
proving the little assistance to population and watch incidents of human rights
violations as it happen, like watching a movie trailer, or to speak out to break the
silence which is likely to be very risk-taking to be detained, kidnapped, expelled,
killed or injured by landmines planted by the Ethiopian Army.
The Oil-rich Ogaden Region borders Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia and many of its
residents are ethnic Somalis. The region was Italian and British-colony, but in
1954, Britain handed over the region secretly to Ethiopia, a decision rejected by
the Ogaden Somali population who have since fought for full independence.
The Pressing question on the minds of many Somalis from the region is how long will
it continue the silence of the International Community,and Ethiopian donors when it
comes to human rights violations of the Region?