June 8, 2016

ONLF and UNPO Condemn Gruesome Massacre of Civilians by Ethiopian Army in Ogaden Village

 

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), in a press release, has condemned in the strongest terms a massacre perpetrated by the Ethiopian army against civilians in a village in the Ogaden region, and called on the international community to likewise condemn these heinous acts and come to the help of the region’s beleaguered population.

On 5 June 2016, the Ethiopian army swept through Jama’ Dubad, a village near Gashamo, indiscriminately opened fire on unarmed civilians and in the ensuing bloodbath killed 51 people, among them women and children. The Ethiopian forces then torched the village and razed it to the ground. While some of the villagers managed to escape the carnage, the Ethiopian army abducted more than ten village elders. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Sadly, the most recent attack is but part of a seemingly wider strategy of the Ethiopian central government to terrorize and instil fear among the population living along the country’s borders with Somalia and Kenya. Numerous attacks similar to the most recent one have been perpetrated by the Ethiopian army over the last couple of months. For instance, Ethiopian forces together with the infamous Liyu Police, a proxy militia, had destroyed the village of Lababar in February 2016, killing more than 300 civilians.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) joins the ONLF in strongly condemning the actions of the Ethiopian army and calling upon the international community to hold the Ethiopian Government accountable for these actions, demand that such repressions are halted and take Ethiopia’s poor human rights record into account when engaging in trade or other exchanges with its authorities.

 

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

The Ethiopian Army wantonly massacred 51 civilians in Jama’ Dubad village near Gashamo town on June 5, 2016. The army indiscriminately opened fire on unarmed civilians in the village centre, shooting everybody in sight, not sparing women, children or the elderly. After the army started the massacre, many villagers run to the local mosque, hoping that they may be spared there. However, the Ethiopian army followed them there, shooting and killing them all. Then, the army torched the village, destroying all property, food and the water supplies of the village.

Many wounded civilians who managed to run away to the fields, are scattered and hiding in the fields. Some of the villagers and many children are still unaccounted for. In addition, the Ethiopian army has abducted more than ten elders whose whereabouts are still unknown. The Ethiopian army has sent reinforcements and are currently occupying villages along the border. This is an indication that the army intends to commit more massacres in order to create fear and stem any reaction from the local communities.

Just two months ago, the Ethiopian army massacred civilians in Dhaacdheer and Gaxandhaale villages near Galadi town in Wardheer region, killing scores of civilians. In February 2016, the Ethiopian army and the Liyu Police militia destroyed Lababar village near Shilaabo, killing more than 300 civilians and destroying the whole community in order to clear areas near the Jeexdin (Calub) Gas fields. In similar aggression the Ethiopian army killed many civilians near Bur-Ukur, Ferfer, Beledwayne and Hudur areas at the end of last year.

After committing crimes intended to extinguish the spirit and the humanity in Ogaden, Oromia and all communities in Ethiopia, the regime is now increasingly targeting other peoples along its borders and other neighbouring countries, especially those along the Somalia and Kenyan borders.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front categorically condemns the action of the Ethiopian regime and calls upon all peoples and parties in the Horn of Africa and the international community to condemn this heinous act and come to the aid of the affected innocent civilians.