November 20, 2013

Ogaden: Swedish Prosecutors To Investigate Human Rights Abuses In Ethiopia

Prosecutors from Sweden recently started to document numerous cases of human rights violations committed by the Ethiopian authorities in the Ogaden Region.

Below is an article published by Ogaden Online:

After years of human rights abuses in Ogaden region without international independent investigation, Ogaden region seems to finally have a good news story. Sweden will be the first European country that is investigating what Swedish Prosecutors say a serious human rights abuses committed at Ogaden region.

"I absolutely welcome the good news of holding those who committed the atrocities and human rights abuses in occupied-Ogaden responsible”, said Mohammed Hared, a 31 year-old Somali activist and an active member of Ogaden Youth and Students Union, OYSU-North America.

Established in Denmark in June 27th, 2010,The Ogaden Youth and Students Union or OYSU is a non-governmental, non-profit Organisation as the name refers to OYSU consists of youth educators around the Globe that their mission is advocate for the rights of the youth, Students, children in diaspora and in Ogaden Region as well as promoting and advocating for justice, Freedom and a lasting peace in Ogaden Region

Early of this year, the Organization extended its role and waged a campaign to draw the attention of the International Community what it says "The Ignored Hidden Genocide in Ogaden" in the last couple of years. Two great events are about to held in South Africa and North America between November 27 and 29 [2013].

Despite well-documented evidences by the Rights Groups, the Ethiopia Government has been denying any wrong doing for the last 7-8 years when it times to human rights abuses committed at Ogaden region, but now nothing is ever hidden from the International Community. 

"I don't really think the atrocities committed at Ogaden have ever been hidden from the international community. It is just that many countries around the World chose to ignore the plight of the Somali people in occupied-Ogaden", said Mr. Hared,in an email response.

Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Genocide Watch have been collecting a large number of testimonies for the war crimes and crimes against humanity"

Documenting and recording for Evidence after evidence of rapes, detentions, tortures, and extra-judicially killings of the civilians as well as villages razing to the ground by the Ethiopian Army and the notorious paramilitary force known as Liyu Police.

Now an Ogadeni whistle blower, Abdullahi Hussein,that is making very difficult to Ethiopia to keep hiding such human rights violations against Somalis in the Ogaden region has defected to Sweden bringing what he says is over 100 hours of filmed evidence. Stellan Gaorde is a lawyer at international commission of jurists. He says Swedish authorities can take action based on the material.

It has come a time that International prosecutors are now following up the case. The Preliminary inquiry about serious crimes against international law was started on the 24th of October.

Swedish Prosecutors are currently working on particular cases-and frequently asking questions for the victims of the notorious Liyu Police, Militia, Ethiopian Army, Regional administration, and judiciary (federal or regional).

Hence, the prosecutors started to talk to more Somalis from Ogaden Region that have specific points of interest on certain issues. And those have some particular cases-very bad experiences, interesting, or an usual will collaborate with the Court.

The Regional Commentators believe that the investigation will likely to be brought in front of Justice all those involved in the case including in the Ethiopian appointed Chief Abdi Mohammoud Omar known as Abdiiley, his vice Chairman Abdullahi Yusuf werar aka Abdullahi Ethiopia, General Abraha Waldo and Alias Quarter who are a close ally of Abdi Iley.

The Oil-rich Ogaden Region is home to 8-10 million ethnic Somali pastoralists, and it borders Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia. 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.