Editors Note: This report was published on August 5th 2013 and because of the important of the issue “Somali people of the Ogaden as a refugees in their own country” and the Ethiopian government's game with the pastoral people of the region, The Author submitted for republication.
Somali region (Ogaden) is Ethiopia’s ‘own Darfur. Government runs organized war and genocide, and blocks trade and food aid delivery in the region. Women, children and older people are the most vulnerable groups to suffer abuse and violence and misuse of humanitarian aid in the region. The 2013 Federal Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) HRD (Humanitarian Requirements Document) confirmed approximately 2.4 million beneficiaries in need of relief food assistance from January to June 2013. About 39% of those in need of assistance in Ethiopia are in Somali State (Ogaden).
To hide facts from the international community, Ethiopian government banned cross border commercial movement, relief aid delivery, and humanitarian operations in the region. Foreign missions and media are not allowed to travel to the region and visit drought and conflict affected areas and monitor the situation on the ground. Relief food is only source of income “salary” for the government officials and militias at local level. UN World Food Programme (WFP) relief food goes through the government channels. Relief food is monitored and controlled by government army and militia forces, and delivered where there are militia presences only. NGOs are not allowed to monitor humanitarian situation and share information about these incidents, otherwise the government will close these organizations and arrest staff. An aid worker who concealed his name for fear of repercussions had recently told the Christian Science Monitor that, “if anybody were to push their agenda beyond a limit considered acceptable by Ethiopia’s notoriously strong and rigid government, then they would risk being expelled from the country”.