Jun 01, 2015

Ogaden: Killing and Destruction of Communities along Somalia Border

In the few days between 26 May 2015 and today, hundreds of people were killed and whole villages were burned near the Shilaabo district in Ogaden, alongside the border with Somalia. The heinous acts were perpetrated by the Liyu police, a unit funded, trained and armed by the Ethiopian government. In just one more example of the ongoing genocide against the Ogadeni people by the Ethiopian state, the Liyu attempted to extort the local population. Upon finding out that the villagers could not afford the exorbitant prices levied on them, the so-called police went on a rampage against the defenceless and vulnerable peoples.

Below is a statement by the Ogaden National Liberation Front:


The Special killing squads of the Ethiopian Regional Administration in Ogaden called the Liyu police, which is funded, trained and armed by the Ethiopian government has committed genocide in the villages near Shilaabo district of Ogaden along the Somali border, killing hundreds of civilians and burning several villages. Among the dead are more than 50 women, children and the elderly, who were wantonly cut into pieces. The epicentres of these massacres were the villages of Lababaar, Xaadh Xaadh, Xindhowreed, and other villages towards the Barmagoog and the Somali border near the Gal-Mudug region. The killings started on the May 26 [2015] and are still ongoing.

The Liyu police, which routinely conducts these heinous massacres in other Ogaden villages, went to Lababaar and demanded money from livestock at the village well. The people, who had no money, told the Liyu police commanders that they could not afford the exorbitant prices levied against them. The Liyu Police leader ordered the beheading of several elders. The people resisted and several members of the community were summarily executed. Then the Liyu police started spraying the remaining civilians with bullets.

The people decided to resist and then, the Liyu police started attacking all the villages in the area and shooting everyone on sight, specially targeting women and children who are defenceless.

These communities, who reside on both sides of the border, are now a target for the Liyu police. The Ethiopian regular army closed the border crossings between Somalia and the Ogaden and is assisting the Liyu police with ammunition and medical support, while cornering and killing the wounded and escaping civilians to Somalia in order to obliterate any evidence.

ONLF condemns the Ethiopian government in the strongest term possible for unleashing these Gestapo-like killing squads on the Somali people in the region and calls the international community to send a fact-finding mission to the Ogaden to investigate the current incidence and the general conduct of the Liyu police in the Ogaden. The Ogaden is closed to international independent media and no independent local media is allowed.

ONLF informs the Somali people in Somalia that the Liyu Police is an Ethiopian regime created army that is being used to suppress all Somalis in Ogaden and is not the army of any Somali clan in Ogaden. Therefore, they shall hold the Ethiopian regime responsible for this catastrophe. 

Finally, ONLF calls all Somalis in Ogaden and Neighbouring Somalia to unite against the Ethiopian regime that is responsible for the current malaise in the Horn of Africa and avoid the clan animosities being kindled and sponsored by the Ethiopian regime.


Issued by