July 29, 2016
Swiss-based African Rights Monitor has detailed the outcomes from the ongoing operations of the Ethiopian government taken against the Ogaden community. They state that while the UN and numerous other international humanitarian organisations have widely reported on the situation in Ogaden, no action has been taken to bring the documented abuses to an end.
The article below is published by African Rights Monitor:
In 2007, the late Ethiopian Premier Minister, Melez Zenawi stated in a press conference in Addis-Ababa “We have launched a political and military operation to try to contain the activities of the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front) in the region,”, the Ethiopian army commits war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden, Somali region of Ethiopia. Besides the fact that the UN and numbers of international human and humanitarian organizations have widely reported these abuses, no action was taken to put the abuses to an end. The Ethiopian main donors, including the USA, UK and EU have turned a blind eye. The Ethiopian Government sealed off the region and implemented an inhumane plan to subjugate the civilians.
Following the declaration of Melez Zenawi, the most important human and human rights organizations were banned and expelled from the region. The ICRC was one of them. In numerous occasions the Ethiopian Government rejected ICRC’s demands to go back and operate in the region On April 19, this year, a framework agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for ICRC’s activities in Ethiopia was signed. In the framework agreement, the Ethiopian Government has again denied and excluded the ICRC to carry out operations, activities and access to the Ogaden region.
In Ogaden, the Ethiopian army and their allied Liyu Police militia are the uncontested masters and have the last words in all aspects of the life of the population in the region. They also announce arbitrary judgments without process. The notion that every person is innocent unless his culpability proved by a court is unknown. A relatives of a civilian arrested or detained will not know the detainee’s whereabouts. All the Ethiopian military garrisons in Ogaden serve detention places where women are systematically raped. The detainees are often transferred to one of the other detention places far away from the original detention place. From June to July this year, ARM has recorded 23 persons killed, 48 detained and eight women raped.
Photo Courtesy of African Rights Monitor