December 5, 2013
In a recent appeal letter to the EU, the Ogaden European Diaspora Association requested that aid to Ethiopia be withheld, and more targeted grassroots actions are carried out in its place.
The following is the letter from the Ogaden European Diaspora Association:
Geneva, December 3, 2013.
Appeal to EU to withhold aid to Ethiopia.
We, from Ogaden and Europeans citizens are disappointed with the EU’s decision to allocate aid money to Ethiopia while violations of basic human rights reach the highest level. Restrictions are being imposed over free journalists, opposition parties and in freedom of association. The human rights organizations face charity and society laws, which cause their disappearance. The anti terrorism law is another way used by the government to kill or arrest the opposition. Under this law, UN staff members are in prison. The hearing held by the European Parliament on March 2011 highlighted that Ethiopia were unable to give details of the use of the recent 2 billion given to them.
Ethiopia is the second largest EU money receiver while it's one of the worst human rights abusers in Africa. The EU Subcommittee on human rights has agreed over the seriousness of the issue raised in the Human Rights Watch’s report, and has ordered the European Commission to come back with data on how and where the billions of dollars in development aid have been spent in Ethiopia, so far no reply has been given.
Since 2007, the Ethiopian government has been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden. Violations were witnessed by the UN mission team to Somali region in 2007, who recommended an independent investigation be carried out. This was followed by recommendations from members of the Human Rights Council during the Universal Periodic Review in 2010, which were rejected by Ethiopia. Since then, Ethiopia has been put under review by several United Nations Human Rights Commissions, especially the Committee Against Torture (CAT), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Committee Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In the concluding observations, the committees underlined the existence of human rights violations, including summary executions, rape, burning villages, confiscating private property, torture and mass detention of the civilians in Ogaden, committed by the State party and requested to end these practices. As predicted, Ethiopia didn’t submit a follow-up report even though a reminder letter from the UN Committee of Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was sent.
The Somali people of Ogaden suffered under the successive Ethiopian imperial and military rules and continue to suffer under the current EPRDF domination. The province, which is home of about more than seven million Somalis, constantly experiences the denial of basic rights and living under the most humiliation conditions that any human being can witness after the Holocaust. Development can’t be reached without respecting human dignity. Due to a policy put in place and carried out by the Ethiopian military and their allied Liyu Police militia, the Somali region is the most needy and no aid reaches the civilians except the area under military influence.
We recommend the EU authority to;
1) Withhold aid to Ethiopia as long as it doesn’t comply with the international community including the United Nation Human Rights Committees on social, civil and political rights.
2) Support the UN team recommendations and send a fact finding mission to the
3) Pressure Ethiopia to open the region and allow all international NGO’s including the ICRC and MSF (Doctors without borders) go back and work freely in the Ogaden.
4) Pressure Ethiopia to release the UN workers, elders, and the detainees of prisons and military camps in Ogaden.
5) Support the ongoing effort to prosecute the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity committed in Ogaden.
Thank you for your attention.
Muhsin Garad Ali
On Behalf of the Ogaden European Diaspora Association