March 7, 2013
Militias have been threatening the local Ogaden population to pay a “head tax” on both the civilians as well as on their livestock.
Below is an article published by Ogaden News:
Since many Ogaden civilians have not much to pay for this illegal head tax, it is reported that the Tigrian militias and their local Somali cahoots, masquerading as the Ethiopian military are forcing civilians to give up their precious livestock including their donkeys which they use as a valuable transportation vehicle when they are unable to pay the so-called head tax.
Most locals interviewed by our reporters throughout the Ogaden agree that this so-called head tax is nothing more than naked bandits wanting to enslave the local civilians by misappropriating what little possession of value the civilians have.
An elder in one of the towns articulated how this so-called head tax is imposed and then collected. He indicated that his family consists of eight children and he and his wife. He told our reporter that the militias counted everyone of them and then they estimated their share of the so-called head tax at $150 Ethiopian Birrs per individual regardless of age or gender. This is a fortune in the Ogaden for civilians who have very little to begin with.
The elder continued his painful story with tears wetting his forlorn cheeks by confirming that his few goats, milking cows and even his donkey have already been taxed in form of them being sold to recoup the so-called head tax on the animals. With his hands up in the air, he wallowed: “How am I going to pay for this?” “How am I going feed my family now that I have lost what little animal possessions that I had?”
The reported re-imposition of the so-called head tax on the Ogaden civilians is yet another form of enslaving the Ogaden civilians by bankrupting them. Many civilians are now wondering what has made the Tigrian militias re-impose the so-called head tax even though the civilians furiously resisted paying it when they have imposed it on the civilian the first time in the early 1990s.
In related news, Ethiopian soldiers and its associated militia demolished 150 Water Wells in the last few weeks. Also, it is reported that two men died and many more got sick in Wabi Yar village near Qabridahar town after drinking contaminated Water. The victims are said to be Ahmed Abdi Mohamed Dhuh and Faisal Abdirahman Barkhadle.