Mar 20, 2012

Ogaden: Action Needed In Ignored Crisis

Western nations urged to act following renewed violence against civilians in Ogaden, where attacks by Ethiopian forces have claimed tens of thousands of victims.

Below is a press release published by the Resolve Ogaden Coalition :


Resolve Ogaden Coalition condemns the ruthless genocidal campaign the Ethiopian regime and its sponsored militias are committing throughout the Ogaden. Just last month the Liyuu police (Jaanjaweed like militias) committed gross human rights violations in Gunagado and Garbo districts in the Ogaden, they systematically targeted civilians and burnt down entire villages populated by thousands of people, this week the liyuu police yet again attacked Gashamo District of the Dagaxbuur region burning the villages of Galka-boodo-libaah, Dhoobo Guduud, Raqda and Adaada, killing many civilians and displacing hundreds. 

This campaign of destruction and displacement is a deliberate effort by the Ethiopian regime to depopulate and displace the Somali people of Ogaden. It is not the first time, this event is merely part of a greater policy being implemented by government sponsored militias known as the Liyuu Police. We are urging the Ethiopian regime to halt all hostilities against the civilian population of Ogaden and immediately disarm the Liyuu police militias that are being used as a tool by the regime and are committing gross human rights violation in the region. 

The genocidal campaigns taking place in the Ogaden is widely documented, since 2007, the Ethiopian regime has been committing gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity against the civilian populations of the Ogaden. The Ogaden is currently under an economic, humanitarian, and media blockade, in the summer of 2011, two Swedish journalists -investigating human rights abuses in the region- were attacked and later sentenced to 11 years in an Ethiopian prison. In 2010-11, in the course of the worst humanitarian crisis in the region in 60 years, the Red Cross and Doctors without borders were denied to enter and operate in the Ogaden from the time when they were kicked out in 2007. 

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Ogaden have been displaced since 2007, and tens of thousands have been systematically killed by the Ethiopian military and the Liyuu Police. The international community and the security council has ignored the crisis taking place in the Ogaden, it is apparent the Ethiopian regime is committing genocide with impunity. 

The Gashamo Massacre is yet another incident the world chooses to ignore, the genocide taking place in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia is by far the worst crisis taking place in Africa, far worst than Darfur, Somalia, Congo, and Northern Uganda. The West chooses to ignore the crisis taking place in the Ogaden, simple because the Ethiopian regime led by Dictator Meles Zanawi is an ally on the “War on Terror.” We are urging western nations mainly the United States of America and the United Kingdom to stop aiding and sponsoring the Ethiopian regime, and holding those responsible for the genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity taking place in the Ogaden. Furthermore, we urge the international community to pressure the Ethiopian regime to immediately open humanitarian, economic, and media access into the Ogaden region. And finally, we are urging the United Nations to recognize the hundreds of thousands of Somalis who fled the violence and oppression in Ethiopia and now reside in refugee camps in Northern Kenya separate from those fleeing the violence in Somalia.