Feb 23, 2012

Ogaden: ARM Condemns Violence in Gunagado

The African Rights Monitor (ARM) has released a statement strongly condemning the reported ongoing loss of life, rape and torture of civilians in Gunagado, Ogaden, Ethiopia. 

Below is a statement released by the African Rights Monitor:

African Rights Monitor-ARM condemns the mass killing in Gunagado and demands donors to pressure Ethiopia to open the Ogaden.

Following the rebel’s attack on a Chinese oil site in the Ogaden, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, who is also the commander of the armed forces, declared on June 9, 2007 “We have launched a political and military operation to try to contain the activities of the Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] in the region…As for the military plans, over the past few days they have started to be implemented." Since then, Ogaden province has become a closed war zone where bloody battle is fought between Ethiopian army and ONLF.

The Ethiopian government put in place in the Ogaden a systematic collective punishment on the civilians including killings, torture, rape, burning the villages and driving thousands of people from the region, while trade restriction and limited relief aid are exacerbating the humanitarian situation."

The last mass killing happened on February 12 and 19, 2012 when the Ethiopian army opened fire on a local assembly organized by the elders following the assassination of an elder and the District Commissioner of the town of Gunagado, Dagahbur region, the night before. The army and their allied militia (liyu Police) killed 16 persons and wounded more than 20 others. In addition they detained 100 persons and took them to an unknown place.

Seven days later, on 19th February 2012, in Gunagado district, the Ethiopian Army and their Janjaweed-like militia attacked farmers in the villages of Abshir and Madheedh killing more than 12 farmers, burned the farms and harvest , destroyed and looted crops and property in the villages at a time when food shortage is alarming in Ogaden.

Names some of the victims killed  on 12 February 2012 :

1. Abdulqadir Guuleed Folow, elder assassinated

2. Moalim Khadar,  Commissionner of Gunagado Killed

3. Abdi Arab, elder killed

4. Abdi Ali bade, businessman killed

5. Shiekh Khalif , Imam of the town killed



On February 19, 2012, In Villages of Abshir and Madheedh, Gunagado district. The following persons were killed by the Ethiopian soldiers.

1. Mr Abdikafi Hassan Nur- ( 60 years old village elder)

2. Mr Siyaad abdiKafi Hassan ( 20year old son of Abdikafi)

3. Mr Abdihakim Mohamed Sh. Osman (30)

4. Mr Mukhtar Farah Ali (40)

5. Mr Bishar Mohamud Seed ( 40)

6. Mr Muhumed Hassan Nur (40)

7. Mr Ahmed Muhumed Mohamed ( 18)

8. Miss Hamdi Abdeeq (15)

9. Son of Wa’di Sirad

10. Son of Abdi Qodah

In Gunagado

1. Mr Maxamud Abdirashid

2. Son of Jama Gagaale

As long as the international community keeps silent on the human rights abuses in Ogaden, the Ethiopian army stationed in the province will continue to kill, rape, loot, burn villages and confiscate properties.

The African Rights Monitor calls upon the United Nations and donor countries especially the European Union, the United States and the Great Britain to place conditions on their financial aid to Ethiopia with the respect of human rights principals and to pressure Zenawi’s government to open the Ogaden so that the alleged human rights abuses can be investigated.

To download the statement, please click here: