By Graham Peebles
Counter Currents | March 29, 2014
Meeting the victims
It was dark when I arrived at Wilson Airport, Nairobi for the 7am United Nations charter flight to Dadaab. I was in Kenya to meet refugees from the Ogaden region of Ethiopia and record their stories. Accounts of false imprisonment, murder, rape, torture at the hands of the ERPRDF government: stories, which would prove deeply distressing. Read more…
By Muktar M. Omer
March 17, 2014 (WardheerNews) – The Ethiopian Government, through its foreign ministry, responded to Martin Plaut’s article“Silence and Pain: Ethiopia’s human rights record in the Ogaden” with the usual feigned shock and template denial that has long characterized the regime’s political personality. It is the established behavior of aggressive and autocratic regimes to discount well-founded reports of human right violations as propaganda constructs of the ‘enemy’. The response from the Foreign Ministry was thus nothing more than a well memorized and rehearsed Ethiopian way of disregarding documented depravities committed by the regime. As usual, the tenor of the regime’s reaction is blame apportionment, not done on the basis of reasoned assessment of the evidences presented, but prompted by the urge to bear out its political prejudice and cover-up.
This is a regime whose character has the potential to confuse even Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former Reagan foreign policy advisor, who made a distinction between “authoritarian” and “totalitarian” regimes. In her essay “Dictatorship and Double Standards,” she describes authoritarian dictators as “pragmatic rulers who care about their power and wealth and are indifferent toward ideological issues, even if they pay lip service to some big cause”; while, in contrast, totalitarian leaders are “selfless fanatics who believe in their ideology and are ready to put everything at stake for their ideals”. Read more…
By GRAHAM PEEBLES
February 28, 2014 (Counter Punch) — Hidden and isolated from the world the armed conflict raging in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia goes unnoticed. The killing and raping of innocent civilians at the hands of the military and their paramilitary partners in crime the Liyu police, the false arrests, torture and imprisonment remain largely hidden and unreported. The international media, human rights groups and most aid organisations (including the International Red Cross) have been banned from the region by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 2007. Read more…
February 23, 2014, Addis Ababa (All Africa) — New allegations of scorched earth evictions of the Ogaden people have raised concerns that a lack of benefit sharing could escalate instability in the region and reinforce separatist tensions as foreign energy companies prepare to extract oil and gas from troubled southeastern Ethiopia.
“The resources in this region will make Ethiopia rich but will keep us impoverished. A settlement is all we can hope for to protect our claim to some of the economic advantages of our natural resources,” Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) founder Abdirahman Mahdi told IPS.
The demise of Ethiopian dictator Hailemariam Mengistu in 1994 triggered a two-decade conflict between the government of Ethiopia and the ONLF. The ONLF has been fighting for self-determination of the eight to 10 million Somali ethnic population living in the Ogaden basin within the Somali National Regional State (SNRS). Read more…
February 20, 2014 (Ogaden Today) — At least 10 people have died in Ethiopia’s detain center, also known as Jail Ogaden in Jigjiga on Sunday February 16 from Malnutrition and hunger, a source close to Karamardha Hospital said Monday.
The bodies of those deceased were taken by the Ethiopian Army and transported to unknown burial site.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian forces secretly began to remove many of the weak and sick prisoners from Jail Ogaden and transfer to its military detention centers in Ogaden.
By Ahmed Abdi
February 15, 2014 (Ogaden Today) — An Ethiopian paramilitary major, Shi’alaqe Faysal La’ag Adan Hirad and Captain Ahmed-Nour Abdikadir Abdisamed Abdi whom were the commanders of the 16th-regiment told the Ogadentoday that they killed any one that encountered them regardless men,women and Children.
The Commanders say that they committed wide-spread atrocities against the innocent civilians in the Occupied-Ogaden region during their counterinsurgency operations.
“Although the Regional President Abdi Mohamoud Omar ordered us the killing of the civilians to make them fear from us by intimidating, we are happy that we killed three Tigray officials that intentional killed a man when their car crushed by a hungry militiaman that waved them to stop”, said Major Adan Hared. Read more…
February 11, 2014, Nairobi, Kenya (The Star) – Ogaden refugees living in Kenya have called on the government to protect them.
The refugees have decried rising kidnapping and harassment of their officials in Kenya. Speaking in Eastleigh, Nairobi the Ogaden Refugees Committee chairman Ahmed Farah Mohamud said Kenya and the international community have a duty to protect refugees.
“We are appealing to the Kenyan government and the international community to ensure safety and wellbeing of two officials of Ogaden National Liberation Front who were kidnapped in Nairobi on January 26.”
He said the two officials were part of ONLF team that was negotiating on behalf of the Ogaden community. Read more…
By Ahmed Abdi
February 9, 2014 (Ogaden Today) — Somalia was one of the best powerful nations of the African continent ever since it gained its full-Independence from European Colonialists and right after its Independence many African countries gained their Independence with the help of Somalia.
During the Cold War Somalia and Ethiopia went a war over Ogaden territory and Somali National Army defeated the largest Army of Africa at the time, Ethiopian National Defense Forces or (ENDF) that forced the former Ethiopian Derge Regime of Mengistu Haile Merriam to seek assistance from the Soviet Union and Cuban troops including South Yemen, but unfortunately Read more…
Ethiopia: How Foreign Oil Companies Annihilated the Lives of Ordinary African Population in Ogaden Region
February 4, 2014 (CNN iReport) — The Ogaden is a territory comprising the south-eastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia and inhabited about 8-10 million ethnic Somali Population. The region, which is twice the size of England and Wales together, has been ravaged by famine, droughts, tribal strife and successive wars between secessionists and regimes of Ethiopian highlanders.
The region had changed hands from Italian to British colonials during the Second World War. After the Second World War, it was secretly annexed to Ethiopia in 1954 by the British colonials, after 13 years of British occupation. Read more…
Martin Plaut | January 31, 2014
The Ogaden is Ethiopia’s dark, dirty secret. It is far from prying international eyes, where almost anything can be done to anyone the government does not like.
The Ogaden was conquered and forcibly incorporated into Ethiopia by Emperor Menelik II in the last quarter of the 19th century. Its Somali speaking, almost exclusively Muslim community, never really accepted an Ethiopian identity. In 1977 it was the scene of an international conflict, as Somali President Siad Barre attempted to wrest the region from Ethiopia. The Soviet Union poured arms and Cuban troops into Ethiopia and the invasion was halted. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been fighting the Ethiopian government since 1995, and local people have been caught up in the conflict. Read more…
By Ahmed Abdi
January 28, 2014 (ONLF) — Two high-ranking members of the ONLF, who were peace negotiators between ONLF-and- Ethiopia have been abducted in Kenya by the Ethiopian security agents on Sunday afternoon(26/01/2014).
The Group issued yesterday a press release saying that “The Ethiopian security abducted Mr Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein, two senior ONLF leaders from Nairobi yesterday afternoon. The leaders, who were members of the ONLF negotiation team, were in Nairobi for a proposed third round of talks.”http://onlf.org/?p=578
Amharic fluent speaker-Sulub Ahmed ,a former ONLF-head-quarter’s commander and a member of Central Committee and Ali Hussein aka Ali-dhere ,a member of the 74 ONLF central Committee have been in Nairobi waiting to resume a peace-talk between Ethiopian government -and-ONLF which stalled 17 October last year. Read more…
January 25, 2014 (Mathaba) — The Prison, which is jailed about several thousand political inmates that live in unbearable living conditions and systemically starved and beaten. This jail ,with its 20 unclean cells overcrowded with prisoners that experience lack of proper jail food services, lack of jail exercise yard, and has only two toilets that serve several thousand prisoners, moreover the Ethiopian guards constantly intimidate, severely torture including beating with strong sticks, electric shock, and suffocating with pouring buckets of ice water over the heads of the prisoners for confession during the interrogation.
Ogaden, which is home to about 8-10 million Somali ethnic population that lives on its goats, sheep and camels is a dry semi-desert region, with low bushes providing what fodder the animals need. Read more…
December 29, 2013 (Ogaden Online) — The Ogaden Online News Network’s investigators have received confidential information about a new clandestine plan to hunt, kill, maim, or intimidate, at the very least, the Ogaden citizenry in the Diaspora especially in the Kenyan refugee camps and those present in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
This plan is spearheaded by the Ethiopian Intelligence using the Ethiopian military personnel at the Moyale, Kenya border, the Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi and members of its Kilil personnel both in Kenya and in JigJiga. Read more…
By Mohamed Faarah
24 December 2013 (Ogadentoday Press)- Ogaden National Liberation Front, ONLF and Ethiopian Military along side with Regional Paramilitary Forces known Liyu Police have clashed in several Zones in Ogaden, according to reports.
According to sources in Dhagahbour, Korehay and Fik Zones, the clashes have left 70 Ethiopian Troops meanwhile a doze of ONLF has been killed in fighting.
A weekly report issued by ONLF commanders in the field said that they have killed hundreds. Read more…