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African News: Ethiopia can’t be trusted to respect rights of any political opponent – group September 13, 2017

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Ethiopia can't be trusted to respect rights of any political opponent – group

ETHIOPIA

Be they internal or external, Ethiopia is no respecter of its political opponents, a Geneva-based rights group has said.

The African Rights Monitor (ARM) group was reacting to the controversial refoulement of Somalian ‘freedom fighter’ Abdikarin Sh. Muse, who was handed over to Ethiopian authorities weeks back.

A statement released by the group on Thursday called for his immediate release and return to Somalia arguing that aside Mogadishu’s breach of international law, they had handed him to a regime known for its highhandedness when it comes to dealing with opponents.

Ethiopia is known to be a country, where freedom and justice is not guaranteed any dissident or political opponent. Mr Abdikarin risks torture and a summary execution.

“Ethiopia is known to be a country, where freedom and justice is not guaranteed any dissident or political opponent. Mr Abdikarin risks torture and a summary execution,” the statement said. It further chastised a purported enemy transfer agreement between the two governments describing it as ‘very alarming.’

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BREAKING: African Rights Monitor condemns the handover of ONLF official to Ethiopia, says he risks torture, execution: statement

The group to which Abdikarin belongs – the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – issued a statement weeks back confirming social media reports of his transfer. The decision sparked outrage in the country bedeviled by Al-Shabaab insurgents.

Despite ONLF describing itself as a liberation group of the Ogaden region, Ethiopia insists that the group is a terrorist organization and by extension, its members are terrorists. Addis Ababa, however, said Abdikarin carries an Ethiopian passport and voluntarily opted to return, claims his family strongly denied.

Whiles accusing Mogadishu of breaching national and international laws, the ONLFin its statement echoed similar sentiments as that of the ARM that ‘the Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refugee to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents.’

“It has been intimated that Mr. Abdikarin was sacrificed in order ti get political support from the Ethiopian regime. The Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia who is a close relative of the Prime Minister and in-law to the Somali president played a key role in brokering the deal,” the statement said.

ONLF describes itself as “a national liberation organisation that struggles for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden and has no involvement whatsoever in Somalia’s multifaceted conflict at all.”


 

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UNPO: Illegal detention and refoulement of Somali refugee to Ethiopia September 2, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Horn of Africa Affairs, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist
UNPO

Illegal detention and refoulement of Somali refugee to Ethiopia

31 August 2017

 


Photo courtesy of the Horn Observer

On 23 August 2017, a Somali refugee from the Ogaden region, having been living in Mogadishu, Somalia, for three years, was arrested by the regional security of the Galkacyo, Galmudug regional state in central Somalia. Mr Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, also an executive committee member of UNPO Member Ogaden National Liberation Front, was then transferred to Mogadishu and held by the Somali National Security for a few days before being refouled to Ethiopia. This refoulement constitutes a violation of the principles laid out in the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, to which Somalia acceded on 10 October 1978. Ethiopia is known to use torture and intimidation, including by harming members of the family, against its opponents: the transfer of a political refugee by Somalia to Ethiopia therefore disregards his rights to life and freedom and constitutes yet another attempt by Ethiopia to threaten the most vulnerable within its population. The UNPO stands by the ONLF in calling upon the international community to put pressure on Ethiopia to fully respect the rights of Mr Sheikh Muse.

Below is a press release published by the Ogaden National Liberation Front:

The regional security of the Galkacyo, Galmudug regional state in central Somalia detained on August 23, 2017 Mr Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, an Executive committee member of ONLF, who was residing in Mogadishu for the last three years. Mr Abdikarin Sh Muse whole family were wantonly killed by the TPLF led regime of Ethiopia. He went to Galkacyo to bring back his young niece to Mogadishu for medical treatment where he was apprehended and then transferred to Mogadishu and held by NISA, the Somali National Security for few days. The Somali government refused to let relatives of Abdikarin Sh Muse to visit him while claiming that they will release him soon.

After much effort by high level Somali Officers to secure the release Mr Sh. Muse, sources close to the Somali cabinet has informed us that the Somali government has ignored their pleas, and has forcefully handed over Mr Abdikarin Sheikh Muse without his consent to Ethiopia in violation of the principle of non-refoulement laid out in 1951 UN-Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which, in Article 33(1) provides that:

“No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

The Somali government and the current president also violated the Somali constitution which recognises the rights of all Somalis to have the right of abode regardless of which part of the Somali nation they originate.

Thus the Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refuge to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents.

The direct involvement of both the Somali president and prime minister has been confirmed. It has also been intimated that Mr Abdikarin was sacrificed to Ethiopia in order to get political support from Ethiopia. The Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia who is a close relative of the prime minster and in law to the Somali president played a key role in brokering the deal.

Furthermore, in order to hide their cowardly and immoral act, the Somali regime and the Ethiopian regime resorted to cheap propaganda stunt by claiming that Mr Abdikarin Sh. Muse has an Ethiopian passport and was negotiating with the Ethiopian government by fabricating a false passport from the Ethiopian embassy in Mogadishu and claiming that he was going on his free will to Ethiopia.  In addition, stories about Mr Abdikarin’s involvement with Al-shabab was also fabricated in order to get support from external forces. ONLF is a national liberation organisation that struggles for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden and has no involvement what-so-ever in Somalia’s multifaceted conflict at all.

The current president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo, and his accomplices, the Prime Minister Mr Hassan Ali Khayre, The National security advisor, Gen. Bashir Mohamed Jamac-Goobe, the Head of NISA Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed Ali “Sanbalolshe” have committed a national crime against the Somali nation and as such will bear the full political and moral consequences of their cowardly act. Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has set a new black record and vile precedence in the history of the Somali nation by becoming the first president of Somalia to hand over a fellow Somalis to the enemy of the Somali nation- the TPLF regime in Ethiopia. This happening shows that Somalia is still not fully sovereign and is under the suzerainty of the TPLF. TPLF is also the enemy to all the peoples in Ethiopia and the source of instability in Horn of Africa!

ONLF members and the Somali people from Ogaden are not a commodity for sale to the TPLF regime in Ethiopia and Somali patriots in all parts of the Somali nation will make sure that all those involved in this case will be made accountable. ONLF will use all available legitimate means at its disposal to protect its rights and its people.

ONLF thanks and commends the progressive forces in Somali who are busy to regain the respect of the Somali nation and the Republic and encourage them to pursue their noble endeavour

ONLF calls upon:

1. All the Somali people in the Horn of Africa to stand by the side of their brethren and hold accountable all that participated in this heinous act intended to damage the sanctity of the unity of Somali nation;

2. The Somalia parliament to take appropriate action against the failed regime of Mr Farmajo and his accomplices who have violated the trust of the Somali people;

3. The UNHRC, ICRC, HRW and the international community to secure the safety and well-being of Mr Abdi-Karin Sh. Muse and pressure Ethiopia to fully respect his human rights as stated in human rights charter and Geneva conventions;

4. All progressive peoples and organisations in the Horn of Africa and the world to condemn this heinous act.

ONLF thanks and commends the progressive forces in Somalia who are actively engaged in regaining the sovereignty of the Somali Republic and encourage them to continue to pursue their noble endeavour.

ONLF will never be deterred by such a cowardly act and will continue to struggle for the right of the Somali people in Ogaden.

The days of TPLF is numbered and those who ally with them are doomed to fail with them.

 

The press release is downloadable by clicking here.

UNPO: 22nd Annual Conference of Ogaden Diaspora Held in Frankfurt August 7, 2017

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22nd Annual Conference of Ogaden Diaspora Held in Frankfurt

From 4 to 6 August 2017, the 22nd annual conference of the Ogaden communities from around the world took place in Frankfurt Germany. The conference, organised by the Ogaden diaspora of Germany invited delegations from Somalia, Oromo, Amhara and Eritrea. Representatives from UNPO Members Ogaden National Liberation Front, Oromo Liberation Front and the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) took part in the three-day conference. The conference saw traditional performances and fruitful discussions on the Ogadeni diaspora’s role in the future of their region and peoples and what concrete steps must be taken to advocate for the most fundamental rights of the people of Ogaden to be respected.

The annual 22nd conference of Ogaden Somali communities Worldwide was held from 4 to 6 August 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.

The three-day conference was organized by the Ogaden community in Germany was attended by delegates representing Ogaden Communities from all five continents and invited guests from Somalia, Oromo, Amhara, and Eritrean communities. In Addition, dignitaries Ogaden National Liberation Front, Oromo Liberation Front, the Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) and Patriotic Ginbot 7 also attended the conference.

Throughout the three day event, the renowned Hilac Band constantly raised the tempo of the meeting by performing Epic Traditional Somali folklore dances moving patriotic songs that moved the participants. Moreover, Nina Simone’s moving song “I AINT GOT NO LIFE” was played to highlight the suffering of the Somali people in Ogaden.

Due to the Ethiopian government’s total disregard for the democratic rights of life, peace, choice, assembly, freedom of speech and other basic human rights in Ogaden and Ethiopia, the Ogaden Diaspora plays a crucial role in highlighting by providing evidence of the alarming humanitarian rights situation in Ogaden and the systematic human rights violations the Ethiopian regime is perpetrating in Ogaden which include extrajudicial killings, sexual violence as a weapon of war, mass arbitrary detentions and the use of torture.

 

During the conference, the attendees extensively discussed the dire situation in Ogaden, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa and how to remedy the calamity in Ogaden and Ethiopia. After deliberating on all relevant issues that affect the Ogaden people in Ogaden, the Horn of African and the Diaspora and considering worsening situation in Ethiopia and the hysterical knee jerk reactions the regime to increasing resistance of the masses against its autocratic and genocidal policies and the possibility of sudden implosion of the regime from within, the participants resolved to :

Continue to

1. Strengthen the education of Ogaden Youth in the diaspora and refugee camps;
2. promote the Somali culture and language to the younger general in the diaspora;
3. streamline the activities of the Ogaden Communities Abroad and enhance advocacy and interaction with Human Rights and humanitarian rights institutions
4. increase the material and moral support to Ogaden Refugees, orphans, and victims of Ethiopian government atrocities
5. strengthen the relationships and interaction with host countries, communities and institutions and combat any acts that can create disharmony between Ogaden Somalis and host communities.
6. Maintain and develop relationships with all oppressed communities from Ethiopia, the Horn of African and the world
Support

1. The just struggle of the Somali people in Ogaden to exercise their right to self-determination and life
2. The peaceful resistance of all peoples in Ethiopia against the current undemocratic regime of Ethiopia led by EPRDF_TPLF
3. All democratic forces and institutions that believe in the rights of all peoples to self-determination, democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia and the rest of the world
4. The noble effort of the Somali people in Somalia to re-establish their sovereignty, governance and rule of law
Condemns

1. The Ethiopian regime for its deliberate and systemic policies and practices of annihilation of the Somali people in Ogaden, by committing rampant human rights violations, blockading trade, and aid, while hampering the ability of the people to engage in economic activities that could sustain them, specially during draughts and other natural disasters
2. The Ethiopian regime for killing innocent civilians in Ogaden Oromia, Amhara, Gambella, Sidama, Afar, Omo, Konso and other parts of Ethiopia
3. The regime’s use of lethal force against peaceful demonstrators in Oromia and Amhara states and the general abuse of human rights of all peoples in Ethiopia
4. Those who support the Ethiopian regime, politically, diplomatically and economically while being fully aware of it crimes against humanity and war crimes in Ogaden, Oromia, Amhara, Sidama and Gambella and other parts of Ethiopia
5. Multinational corporations and banks that bankroll the mega-projects in Ogaden, OMO, Gambella, Benishangul and other parts of Ethiopia that forcefully displace the rural communities and destroy the livelihood of millions in Ethiopia
6. Condemns the use of local militias by the Ethiopian regime in order to suppress popular resistance and create civil wars among the neighborly communities, specially between the Somali and Oromo peoples.
7. Condemns certain regional administrations in Somalia in collaborating with Ethiopian regime security to forcefully rendition asylum seeker from Ogaden to the Ethiopian regime.
Calls Upon

1. The UN to seek security council resolution forcing the Ethiopian regime to allow independent UN commission to investigate human rights violations in Ethiopia, in particular in Somali, Oromia, and Amhara regional states and take appropriate measures to stop ongoing violations.
2. The USA and the EU as providers of the greatest aid to the regime to stop blindly supporting the current regime and instead support the rights of the peoples in instead of a decadent, undemocratic and callous regime that violates its own constitution and rule of law
3. The AU to stop acting as dump, paper tiger organization that always supports dictators in Africa and instead start acting on its charters and stand for the rights of African peoples. To date, the AU is silent about the atrocities perpetrated by the Ethiopian regimes against the Somali people in Ogaden and other parts of Ethiopia while thousands are massacred just across the AU headquarters!
Finally, the Conference calls upon the Somali people in Ogaden and all peoples in Ethiopia to unite and support each other against the vile and callous regime in Ethiopia.

Ogaden: ONLF: The Vicious Ethiopian Regime is Instigating Civil Wars between Somalis, Oromos and Amharas September 27, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistPAFD NEWSONLF

The Vicious Ethiopian Regime is Instigating Civil Wars between Somalis, Oromos and Amharas

ONLF Press Release,  August 12, 2016


ONLF

After millions in Ethiopia, particularly from Oromo, Amhara and other nations staged peaceful demonstrations during last week and in November last year, the Ethiopian regime is resorting not only to killings, arbitrary detentions and inhumane torture of the peaceful demonstrators, but the regime is unleashing a very sinister plan that is intended to instigate civil war among the different nations in Ethiopia.The regime is using the Liyu police in border areas between the Somali Territory and Oromia to suppress Oromo protesters. What is even more worrying and heinous, is that the regime is using the Somali administrations in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Northern Somalia and others areas in the Somali republic to detain, kill and harass Oromo and Amhara workers. In some towns in Ogaden, the Ethiopian army and associated militia’s detained or summarily executed scores of people of Oromo, Amhara descent or other nations from Ethiopia in support of the TPLF regime. Similarly poor workers are being detained illegally, forcefully transferred to Ethiopia or killed in Somali inhibited territories in the Horn of Africa, including Djibouti. Ogaden Somali Elders and civilians protested against this and were brutally beaten by the Ethiopian Security forces.

This is a deliberate policy to create hatred between Somalis and other Ethiopian communities, in order to forestall any future cooperation. However, such a policy is doomed to fail since Somalis in Ogaden decided that they share common interest with all the oppressed nations in Ethiopia, regardless of Ethnicity or religion. The Ethiopian regime has been committing Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes in Ogaden and has destroyed the wellbeing and livelihood of hundreds of thousands civilians in Ogaden since 2007 and the Somali people are resisting the regime on a daily basis. Unfortunely, innocent Somalis were also targeted in other regions during the protests.

Similarly, ONLF calls upon all national administrations in Ethiopia and their associated militias’ to desist from supporting the regime against the popular resistance and side with the people. The days of the regime are numbered and they shall start thinking about the future.

ONLF calls upon the international community to stop supporting the current regime in Ethiopia by either funding it or not making accountable for its blatant crime against all peoples in Ethiopia.

Finally, ONLF and the Somali people in Ogaden fully and unreservedly supports and sides with all oppressed people in Ethiopia and will not spare any effort to educate Somalis of the traps that is being set up by the Ethiopian regime. Ogaden Somalis and elders have already started calling for all Somalis to stop supporting the callous regime in Ethiopia and participate in the legitimate and genuine uprising against the unrepresentative regime in Ethiopia.

Issued by

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)

Member of PAFD and UNPO

August 12, 2016

UNPO Side-Events at UN Human Rights Council Raise Awareness of Gross Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia June 28, 2016

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Odaa OromooUNPOUN Human Rights

UNPO Side-Events at UN Human Rights Council Raise Awareness of Gross Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia

UNPO,  24 June 2016


Aiming to raise awareness of the gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Ethiopian government against its own citizens, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), in cooperation with the Nonviolent Radical Party (PRNTT), the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa and the Ogaden People’s Rights Organization, convened two side-events to the XXXII Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, on 22 and 23 June 2016, respectively.

On 22 June 2016, a conference entitled ‘Business and Human Rights in Ethiopia: Double-Digit Growth at What Cost?’ looked at the systematic and large-scale violations of human rights committed hand-in-hand by transnational corporations and the Ethiopian government, with particular focus on the Ogaden region.Mr Abdirahman Mahdi, Chairman of the Ogaden People’s Rights Organization (OPRO), provided the audience – comprised of human rights defenders, diplomats, politicians, journalists and academics from all over the world – with an introductory overview of the Ogaden, a region that has recently seen its territory divided into 22 blocks to be then assigned to transnational corporations, with no regard whatsoever to the local inhabitants, who are being forcefully displaced and denied access to their grazing lands. Mr Mahdi reminded the audience that, although the Ethiopian constitution stipulates that the land is owned by the state and the people of Ethiopia, “the Somali people in Ogaden have no say or right in deciding the fate of their land and are never consulted”.

In a region where aid is severely restricted and international NGOs are denied access or operate under direct supervision, “detention, rape, summery execution and torture are rampant”, Mr Mahdi explained. Even the International Committee of the Red Cross has been banned from working in the Ogaden since 2007, while it is allowed in other parts of Ethiopia. Only during the last six months, several civilians in 69 localities were rounded, detained, beaten, looted or killed. On 6 June 2016, 51 people were killed in Jama Dubad, in the Gashamo District On 15 June, more than 400 civilians, relatives of Ogaden diaspora members were detained and tortured in Qabridahar, Dhanaan, Wardheer, Godey and Dhagahbur, after some demonstrations against the regional president had taken place in Australia.

Following Mr Mahdi’s presentation, journalist and director Mr Graham Peebles screened for the first time his recent short documentary “Ogaden: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame”. The film is based on interviews conducted in Dadaab Refugee camp in Kenya in October 2014 and reveals the state-sponsored terrorism taking place in the Somali Ogaden region of Ethiopia, showing related stories of extreme violence, torture and rape at the hands of the security forces. After the screening of his poignant film, Mr Peebles shared with the audience the experience of shooting and producing the piece. Mr Peebles remarked that, in addition to Ethiopian military and paramilitary being engaged in killings to clear the area for resource exploration, the Ogaden has also been severely affected by drought and famine. “Although the WFP is providing emergency food aid in the Ogaden, the relief programme has been forced to recruit locals who are said to be working for the Ethiopian security services”, he explained. As a result, food aid is increasingly being diverted from WFP warehouses to local agencies, “who reportedly transfer it to the army or government regional administrators, who then divide the food amongst themselves with the purpose of being sold on the black market or given to groups that support the ruling party”.

Scene of the film “Ogaden: Ethiopia’s HIdden Shame’ by Graham Peebles, screened at the UN in Geneva

Followed by a debate, this first conference sought to address the complex relationship between business and human rights in Ethiopia, where the most basic rights of the local population are sacrificed on the altar of major economic interests and so-called ‘development’.

On 23 June 2016, the second side-event, in collaboration the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), shifted the focus to the Oromo region of Ethiopia where, in November 2015, national security forces responded to largely peaceful protests with excessive and lethal force. The roundtable was entitled “Violations of Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration: Brutal Crackdown on Peaceful Oromo Protests”.

Mr Garoma Wakessa, Director of the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, opened his presentation by offering a comprehensive overview of the situation of the Oromo, who despite being the largest ethinic group, are largely socially and politically marginalized. Mr Wakessa presented the origins of the protests that broke out across Oromia, in 2015, when civilians took to the streets to protest against the so-called ‘Integrated Master Plan’, the central government’s intention to expand Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into Oromia regional territory. Mr Wakessa emphasized that the demonstrations were mainly led by Oromo students and while the protests started as an opposition to the ‘Master Plan’, they gradually evolved into a wider Oromo movement levelled against the central authorities.

Mr Felix Horne, Ethiopia Researcher for Human Rights Watch, offered with his most recent report,  “‘Such a Brutal Crackdown’: Killings and Arrests in Response to Ethiopia’s Oromo Protests,”,  further details of the Ethiopian government’s use of excessive and unnecessary lethal force and mass arrests, mistreatment in detention, and restrictions on access to information to quash the protest movement. His publication was based on interviews with more than 125 protesters, bystanders and victims of abuse, who documented serious violations of the rights to free expression and peaceful assembly by security forces against protesters and others, between the very beginning of these protests in November 2015 and up until May 2016. Moreover, Mr Horne explained that Ethiopian government’s pervasive restrictions on independent human rights investigations and media have meant that very little information has been coming from affected areas. Since mid-March [2016], the Ethiopian government has restricted access to Facebook and other social media, as well as restricted access to diaspora television stations.

The well-achieved goal of convening two side-events to the XXXII Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council was to raise awareness of the dangerous misconception that Ethiopia is ‘an African democracy on the make’ and ‘a beacon of stability in an otherwise troubled region’. Both events informed human rights defenders, diplomats, politicians, journalists and academics from all over the world about the dire human rights’ situation in Ethiopia, firstly by shedding a light on the damage caused by large-scale business operations, notably in areas inhabited by ethnic groups who are already being systematically marginalized and suppressed by the central government. Secondly, by looking at how an authoritarian regime uses brutal and lethal force against peaceful protestors, such as the case of Oromia.  The international community clearly has an active role to play in ensuring investigations into the mass atrocities taking place in Ethiopia, to hold perpetrators of crimes responsible and to end the enduring impunity.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Speakers:

Mr Abdirahman Mahdi, Chairman of the Ogaden People’s Rights Organization (OPRO)

Mr Graham Peebles, Journalist and Film Director

Mr Garoma Wakessa, Director of the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa

Mr Felix Horne, Ethiopia Researcher Human Rights Watch

Side-Event Press-Release: Violations of Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration: Brutal Crackdown on Peaceful Oromo Protests

Side-Event Press-Release: Business and Human Rights in Ethiopia: Double-Digit Growth at What Cost?


http://unpo.org/article/19287

UNPO: Ogaden: Documentary Sheds Light on Ethiopia’s ‘Hidden Shame’ June 26, 2016

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Odaa OromooEthiopia's regime crimes in OgadenOgaden, Ethiopia's hidden shame

 

Ethiopia is often hailed as an African role model and a beacon of stability and hope in an otherwise troubled region. The developmental community is smitten by the country’s alleged progress in areas such as GDP growth, school attendance and provision of public healthcare. As British journalist and filmmaker Graham Peebles points out in his documentary, however, the reality for most of the people in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia is radically different from the sugar-coated image put forth by the Ethiopian government. Scores of Ogadenis flee their home region to escape state-sponsored violence and abuse, while the international community turns a blind eye to their plight.

 

Below is an article published by Dissident Voice:

Ethiopia is regularly cited as an African success story by donor nations; the economy is growing they cry, more children are attending school and health care is improving. Well GDP figures and millennium development statistics reveal only a tiny fraction of the corrupt and violent picture.

What development there is depends, the Oakland Institute relate, on “state force and the denial of human and civil rights”; the country remains 173rd out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index and around 40% of the population live below the extremely low poverty line of US-$1.25 a day, – the World Bank worldwide poverty line is $2 a day.

The ruling party, the EPRDF, uses violence and fear to suppress the people and governs in a highly centralised manner. Human rights are ignored and a methodology of murder, false imprisonment, torture and rape is followed.

The ethnic Somali population of the Ogaden, in the southeast part of the country, has been the victim of extreme government brutality since 1992. It is a familiar story of a region with a strong identity seeking autonomy from central government, and the regime denying them that democratic right.

In 2013 and again in 2014 I visited Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and met a number of people who had fled state persecution in the Ogaden. Men and women told of false imprisonment, murder and torture. All the women I spoke with relayed accounts of multiple rape, and sexual abuse; defected military men confessed to carrying out such appalling crimes.

We filmed the meetings and put together a short documentary, Ogaden: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame. Most people have never heard of the region and know nothing of what is happening there.

The purpose of the film is to raise awareness, of what human rights groups describe as a genocidal campaign, and to put pressure on the primary donors – America, Britain and the European Union. Countries that collectively give around half of Ethiopia’s federal budget in various aid packages, and whose neglect and indifference amounts to complicity.

The film records the distressing stories of three extraordinary young women, Anab, Maryama and Fatuma.


http://unpo.org/article/19281

Make Ogaden Accessible US House Urges Ethiopia April 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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O

 

The U.S House of Representatives and the government of United Kingdom plus EU Parliament and United Nations have recently stepped up a campaign to help Somalis from Ogaden region to realize that their voice has been heard by the International Community after decades of virtually silent.

As UK’s government recently released a report indicating allegations of abuses by the Liyu Police or “Special Police”,which London expressed its concerns,United States House of Representatives and EU Parliament have both sent strong messages to Addis Ababa,which was meant to open the Somali religion of Ogaden to the humanitarian agencies and International media to have free access to avoid further humanitarian crisis.

The U.S Congress issued a message which eventually published on Somalilandsun that reads:

The US House of Representatives has asked Ethiopia to Permit Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations Access to its Somali region of Ogaden. The House informed (d) ETHIOPIA. “That Funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for Ethiopian military and police forces shall not be made available unless the Secretary of State–
(A) certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Ethiopia is implementing policies to–
(i) protect judicial independence; freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion; the right of political opposition parties, civil society organizations, and journalists to operate without harassment or interference; and due process of law; and (ii) permit access to human rights and humanitarian organizations to the Somali region of Ethiopia; and (B) submits a report to the Committees on Appropriations on the types and amounts of United States training and equipment proposed to be provided to the Ethiopian military and police including steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to military or police personnel or units that have violated human rights, and steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia to investigate and prosecute members of the Ethiopian military and police who have been credibly alleged to have violated such rights.”http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/world/4945-make-ogaden-accessible-us-house-urges-ethiopia


The EU’s head of International Unit Party Socialist democrat,Anna Gomes,MEP said “Ethiopia is one of the largest humanitarian and development aid receiver yet these donations are used incorrectly and corruptly. Western governmental Organizations and Western Embassies to Addis Ababa ignored the stolen donations and humanitarian aid that are being used as a political tool by the Ethiopian regime, which is contrary to EU rules on the funding”.http://www.tesfanews.net/eu-holds-discussion-on-ethiopian-human-rights-crisis-in-ogaden-and-kality-prison/
Ulvskog, MEP,in her part when she was speaking about the steps needed to be taken in order to stop the human rights abuses that is being committed against Ethiopian and Ogaden civilians, she said that the EU could use sanctions or words against Ethiopia or follow up documents and information like the one provided by Ogadeni whistle-blower, Abdullahi Hussein,who smuggled out one-hundred-hours filmed footage, to show the reality in the ground.

The UK government’s website said last week that there have been many reports of mistreatment associated with the Special police,including torture and executions of villagers accused of supporting the Ogade n National Liberation Front.

“The UK government and the UN have pressed the Ethiopian government to articulate a reform plan for the Special police.The Ethiopian government has agreed this is needed,so we will encourage them to take action”,added the report.https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/country-case-study-ethiopia-justice-and-treatment-in-detention

The Rights Groups such as Human Rights Watch,Amnesty International and Genocide Watch have accused of Ethiopia that it has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden region.The ONLF accuses Addis Ababa similar charges of egregious human rights abuses against Somali civilians in the region.

John Holmes, The highest UN Official to visit Somali Region of Ogaden in part of its fact finding mission,since the Ethiopian crackdown (2007) called on a further investigation,a plan to wait its implementation until now.

Somali people of Ogaden Region,who has been deplored the international Community’s inaction and silence,when it comes to human rights violations committed at Ogaden region could now feel that they have been heard as the International Community including U.S,UK,EU and United Nations are ready to take action against those committed war crimes and crimes against humanity yet believe that they can get away with it.

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Ethiopia: The Declining of the Much Vaunted GDP Growth, the Rise of Youth Unemployment, Extreme Poverty & Social Discrimination February 9, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Oromia, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Odaa Oromoo

‘The second poorest country in the world according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multidimensional Poverty Index, [2] Ethiopia consistently ranks extremely low upon a variety of socioeconomic, development and human rights indicators. [3] Recently, however, Ethiopia has experienced economic growth – making it amongst ‘Africa’s best performing economies.’ [4] This development reiterates the Ethiopian government’s lofty ambitions to attain ‘middle-income status by 2020.’ [5] The validity, sustainability, and possible ramifications of Ethiopia’s purported and ambitious economic transformation in the near future – which could prove beneficial domestically and regionally – merits closer analysis.’  – http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/90435

To begin with, it is important that Ethiopia’s economic growth translate into broad scale development. While Ethiopia has reportedly witnessed tangible progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), [7] the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted that there still remains ‘a pressing need for policies to translate positive growth outcomes into stronger employment gains and further reduction in poverty and set off a dynamic, virtuous cycle of self sustaining and broad-based growth.’ Further challenges include high levels of youth and female unemployment, greater efforts being required to identify and address the needs of those in severe and chronic poverty (approximately 25 million or 27 percent of Ethiopians live in extreme poverty), and pervasive malnutrition. [8]

Ethiopia’s economic growth also arouses questions of equitable growth and redistribution. Handley et al. (2009) outline that, although essential, economic growth is not always wholly sufficient to reduce poverty or inequality. Rather, an assortment of measures must be undertaken to ensure that poorer strata of society are incorporated into national economic growth. [9] Even with Ethiopia’s past reduction of much national inequality, dramatic inequities in education and employment – and broad discrimination – along rural-urban, gender, and ethno-religious lines are starkly apparent. [10]

Another critical issue emanating from Ethiopia’s economic growth and general developmental efforts is the manner in which they have been pursued. For example, a vital component of Ethiopia’s agricultural development strategy is the ‘villagization’ program that entails the relocation of millions of people from locations reserved for industrial plantations. [11] Ethiopia is an agrarian-based society in which more than 80 percent of Ethiopians depend on agriculture and pastoralism for subsistence. Issues arising from the program have led to greater food insecurity, a destruction of livelihoods and the loss of cultural heritage. Additionally, the program, which frequently utilizes forced evictions, has been plagued by a plethora of human rights violations. A variety of human rights groups have documented beatings, killings, rapes, imprisonment, intimidation and political coercion by the government and authorities. [12]

While Ethiopia has suggested that leasing land to foreign investors is necessary to modernize farming, enhance domestic food production and generate employment, [13] it continues to struggle mightily with hunger, under-nutrition and stunting. [14] Further, a UN report has even suggested that such investment deals negatively impact local populations. [15]

Importantly, projections of Ethiopia’s forthcoming evolution into a middle-income country must address the fact that Ethiopia remains overwhelmingly dependent on foreign aid. Long unable to produce enough food for its population, the nation has been dependent on foreign food aid for decades; [16] recent World Food Programme data illustrates that the country remains one of the largest recipients of food aid in the world. [17]

Siyoum, Hilhorst, and Van Uffelen (2012) also note that more than 8 million Ethiopians rely on food aid. Furthermore, the authors find that Ethiopia’s food insecurity stems from government failures in addressing major structural problems including poor soil fertility, environmental degradation, population pressure, fragmented landholdings and a severe lack of income-generating opportunities outside of agriculture. [19]

In addition to its reliance on food aid, Ethiopia is highly dependent on external economic assistance. In 2011, Ethiopia was the world’s fifth largest recipient of official humanitarian aid and received $3.6 billion in total assistance, [20] the latter figure representing between 50-60 percent of its total budget. [21] Additionally, Ethiopia’s 2011 share of total official development assistance – approximately 4 percent – placed it behind only Afghanistan.

According to Finland’s Country Strategy for Development Cooperation in Ethiopia, published by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia’s dependency challenges include the fact that its ‘…humanitarian support programmes are fragmented,’ [22] an outcome likely influenced by the expansive network of foreign development, religious, and charity organizations (2000-4000 in total). [23] The Finnish report also notes that ‘a large proportion of the Ethiopian people have limited coping mechanisms at their disposal.’ Furthermore, the country is faced with ‘an immediate need [to] transition from humanitarian aid to development [and]…without a range of dynamic and comprehensive activities to promote effective private sector development, particularly in agriculture, it will be very difficult to achieve the anticipated growth rates under the [growth and transformation plan].’ [24]

In fact, recent years have seen Ethiopia’s vaunted annual GDP growth rate decrease. [25] Utilizing World Bank data, which reports Ethiopia’s 2012 GNI per capita as $380 (current US$), [26] Ethiopia’s transition to lower middle-income status (between $1,036 – $4,085) [27] would require an annual growth rate of approximately 20 percent. This would appear to be highly unlikely, even if overlooking its recent descending economic trend or the negative effects of inflation.

These issues may be exacerbated by an array of financial risks. According to the IMF, Ethiopia faces growing external debt, [28] even though it was the beneficiary of debt cancellation in 2005 via the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives (MDRI) programs. [29] Additionally, it is has experienced a worsening of its foreign exchange shortage, and a lack of sufficient financing for its growth and transformation plan. [30]

Beyond the aforementioned developmental challenges, issues of aid dependency and financial risks, domestic governance and external geopolitical factors represent critical concerns for Ethiopia. A multicultural, ethnically-diverse country with a state-structure built along institutionalized ethnic entrenchment in a nominal federal arrangement dominated by a single minority group; rising tensions with a resilient, large and historically repressed Islamic constituency; and troubled ties with neighbours are both challenges and possible impediments to Ethiopia’s projected economic growth unless adequately addressed.

Currently, political oppression, ethnic discrimination, extrajudicial executions, torture and other abuses in detention, [31] in addition to economic factors, have led hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to flee the country. Many fall prey to human smugglers and traffickers who engage in a variety of the most depraved forms of abuse or exploitation. [32]

Additionally, Ethiopia has been at the forefront of a variety of conflicts. The separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) continues to wage an insurgency against the central government, [33] while terrorism – largely arising from Ethiopia’s policies and interventions in neighbouring regions – has been a constant threat. According to Global Humanitarian Assistance, in each of the years from 2002-2011 Ethiopia was engaged in some form of active conflict. [34] Prior, the 1998-2000 period saw Ethiopia wage a costly war against Eritrea. Since then, Ethiopia has failed to abide by its obligations as ruled by the international Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, [35] and instead continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territories – thus posing an unnecessary problem to both countries and the surrounding region. [36] Ethiopia’s recent tension with Egypt regarding the construction of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is an additional dimension that complicates an already tenuous regional political landscape. [37]

Last, a potential crisis within or outright collapse of the Ethiopian state calls into question any projections of Ethiopia’s impending transition to middle-income status. Since 2006, Ethiopia has experienced a downward trend in the Fund for Peace (FFP) Failed States Index, while for 2013 it received amongst the lowest rankings. [38] This outcome is buttressed by Marshall and Cole’s (2011) State Fragility Index and Matrix which classifies Ethiopia as one of the eight ‘most fragile’ states in the world. State fragility is reported as an aggregate score of an array of governance categories including state effectiveness, legitimacy, security, armed conflict and other socio-economic and political factors. [39] Finally, the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds (2012) suggests that Ethiopia is among the top 15 ‘high risk’ nations slated for state failure by 2030. [40]

In conclusion, Ethiopia’s recent economic growth and developmental progress are respectable achievements, particularly within a region long plagued by a variety of ailments. However, suggestions of Ethiopia’s socioeconomic transformation may prove fanciful if they fail to consider and address a variety of significant concerns.

-Fikrejesus Amahazion, a PhD candidate focusing on Political Economy, Development and Human Rights.
Read more from original source @:
http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/90435

Related reference:

The Food Index

The interactive snapshot of 125 countries showing the best and worst places in the world to eat, and the challenges people face getting enough of the right food.

Around the world, one in eight people go to bed hungry every night, even though there is enough food for everyone.

Ethiopia ranks 123 (worst)  in over all food availability.

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/good-enough-to-eat

Silence and pain: Ethiopia’s human rights record in the Ogaden February 2, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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Repression in the Ogaden is mainly carried out by the notorious Liyu Police; this is a locally recruited force that has been widely condemned for the repressive methods that it uses.
This is how the force is described by Human Rights Watch:[6]
“Ethiopian authorities created the Liyu (“special” in Amharic) police in the Somali region in 2007 when an armed conflict between the insurgent Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the government escalated. By 2008 the Liyu police became a prominent counterinsurgency force recruited and led by the regional security chief at that time, Abdi Mohammed Omar (known as “Abdi Illey”), who is now the president of Somali Regional State.
The Liyu police have been implicated in numerous serious abuses against civilians throughout the Somali region in the context of counterinsurgency operations. The legal status of the force is unclear, but credible sources have informed Human Rights Watch that members have received training, uniforms, arms, and salaries from the Ethiopian government via the regional authorities.”
In January 2013 it was reported that the Liyu police numbered between 10,000 and 14,000. The force was accused of numerous human rights abuses and summary executions.[7] The Guardian newspaper reported that it had seen an internal British government document, from the Department for International Development, indicating that there were plans to spend £13m–15m of aid money on the force as part of a five year “peace-building” programme. The report was denied by the British government, which said all funding would go via United Nations agencies and not through the Ethiopian authorities.[8]
Despite these assurances concern about the behaviour of the Liyu police remains. The testimony below and the reports of atrocities carried out in recent weeks indicate these are well placed.
Testimony of Captain Hassan Mohammed Abdi aka Hassan Afo, a former member of the Liyu Police, who was active with the force in Degehbur Province. June 2012.
“In Balidhuure village (Eastern Degehbur Province) located in between Gurdumi and Koore, a Liyu police unit that left from Aware and commanded by Major Kidinbir rounded up and finally driven away most of the people that lived in the area. Among them was a disabled man who walks with a stick named Ina-Yul-yul or the son of Yul-yul. Not far from the village of Balidhuure, the handicapped man, Ina-Yul-yul could not continue walking. One of the Liyu policemen noticed this and he informed Major Kidinbir by radio. Major Kidinbir said, “He can’t walk? Then kill him where he is at right now.” That’s how Ina-Yulyul was shot and killed. He was killed because of one of his brothers was among the ONLF fighters.”
Reports of human rights atrocities committed in the Ogaden Region over the previous month.
25/12/13: In Guna’gado district of Degahbur province, at least 25 civilians were detained and 25,000 Ethiopian birr was stolen from them
5/1/14: In Gasaangas in Hamara district 5 civilians are unlawfully detained. They were: Hassan Geday, Hassan Nour Moalim Ibrahim, Rukiya Moalim Ibraahin, Anbiya Sheikh Mohammed and Nafis.
5/1/14: In Dhuhun a girl named, Halimo Duulane was detained .
10/1/14: In Eastern Iimay, Fadumo Wacdi Ahmed, Sa’ada Hassan and Gordo Abdi God were detained by the Ethiopian Security Forces.
10/1/14,In Guna’gado, Mohammed Isse Gu’had was tortured, detained and his 11 camels were stolen.
3/1/14: Hamuud-ka, in Fiq Province, the security forces detained Mohammed Ibrahim.
5/1/14: Ya’hob Village in Fiq Province, the security forced killed in a cold-blood Abdullahi Lo’bari in cold blood and injured Ahmed Hassan Awl.
5/1/14: Hamaro in Nogob Province, the security forces detained several people : Mohammed Abdi Rahman Omar, Abdirahman Bade, Ta’kal Yousouf and Ina-Barud.
Annex
Amnesty International on Ethiopia’s Ogaden region[9]
In September, the government and the ONLF briefly entered into peace talks with a view to ending the two-decade long conflict in the Somali region. However, the talks stalled in October. The army, and its proxy militia, the Liyu police, faced repeated allegations of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, and rape. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were widely reported. None of the allegations was investigated and access to the region remained severely restricted. In June, UN employee Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan was found guilty of terrorism offences over alleged links to the ONLF, and sentenced to seven years and eight months’ imprisonment. He was arrested in July 2011 after negotiating with the ONLF over the release of two abducted UN World Food Programme workers.

Human Rights Watch on Ethiopia’s Ogaden region
ETHIOPIA: UPR SUBMISSION SEPTEMBER 2013 [10]
http://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/silence-and-pain-ethiopias-human-rights-record-in-the-ogaden/

 

 

 

Related References:

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/us-congress-takes-a-historic-stance-against-land-grabs-related-forced-evictions-in-ethiopia/

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/the-genocidal-ethiopia-and-its-janjaweed-style-liyu-police-the-killings-of-59-oromo-men-women-and-children-the-wounding-of-42-others-the-confiscation-of-property-and-the-forcible-removal-of-pe/?relatedposts_exclude=1589

 

martinplaut

Silence and pain: human rights in the Ogaden

Martin Plaut

Introduction

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.

Oagen 1The Ethiopian authorities have sealed off the region to international journalists.

As Human Rights Watch wrote as…

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