June 3, 2011

Ogaden: San Diego Diaspora Condemns Mass Murder

Ogaden Youth and Student Union organizes demonstration against the Ethiopian government’s humanitarian, economic and political blockade in Ogaden and calls on the international community to take action.

Below is an article published by Ogaden Online:

On Sunday May 29th, 2011, hundreds of people from the Ogaden American Community of San Diego gathered to pray and condemn the mass killing of civilians and the murder and kidnap of the WFP workers by Ethiopian military forces in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia this past week. As one elder stated “This community stands in solidarity with the oppressed people of Ogaden,” The event was organized by the Ogaden Youth and Student Union of San Diego a youth wing of OAC San Diego, and it was to raise awareness about the current dire situation taking place in the Ogaden, where thousands of people are being rounded up and being systematically killed by Ethiopian government forces and its sponsored militias. The event highlighted many crucial aspects about the current plight of the Ogaden people in Ethiopia.

The Ogaden region of Ethiopia is today one of the worst crisis taking place in East Africa. Millions of people are facing starvation, government repression, and environmental disaster. This year’s lack of rainfall has further deteriorated the already dire humanitarian crisis that has been taking place in the Ogaden since 2007. The humanitarian, economic and political blockade placed on the Ogaden by the Ethiopian government has destroyed and continues to destroy hundreds of thousands and millions of lives. Many genocide observers and human rights groups have raised serious concerns about the current situation in the Ogaden, and many have called it a hidden genocide.

Just last week, top U.S Senators, humanitarian organizations, human rights groups, and U.N officials have all raised worry about the serious human rights violations being committed by the Ethiopian government. Meles Zanawi a dictator who has been in power for more than 20 years has shown no respect and honor for democracy, human rights and human decency. Government sponsored militias known as Liyuu Police have recently posted a gruesome video detailing the mass murder of innocent civilians in rural communities in the Ogaden, You Tube has removed it due to the disgusting and inhuman nature of the video. This shows the character of the ruthless Ethiopian government and its callous campaign against the people of Ogaden.

The Ethiopian government has recently denied ICRC from operating in the Ogaden, the Ogaden Somali community of San Diego demands that the international community intervene and immediately pressure the Ethiopian government to lift the illegal humanitarian blockade on the Ogaden, and send an immediate humanitarian assistance to the region. The San Diego Ogaden community also urges the international community to send a fact-finding mission to the region to record the human rights violations and the crimes against humanity that has been occurring in the region for the past decade. Millions of lives are at stake, the Ethiopian dictatorship led by Meles Zanawi has done everything in it power to conceal the atrocities that are being committed against the people of Ogaden. It is the responsibility of the United Nations and the entire international community to uphold the principle of human rights and human dignity. The plight of the Ogaden people has gone silenced for far too long. The Ogaden Somali community, which is among the largest Somali communities in the Country, sends a clear message to Washington to stop supporting the Ethiopian government and their genocidal campaign against the innocent people of Ogaden.