Category: Opinion

The forgotten and neglected Somali Region of Ethiopia

Editor’s Note: This  paper  was presented at the Symposium on the Human Rights abuses in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, co-sponsored by Students against Human Rights Violations and Amnesty International at the University of Toronto, Canada. November 13, 2001. This region lies in SE Ethiopia, bordering on Somalia and Kenya. It is an arid region, inhabited by Somali pastoral nomads. Upon the scramble and partition of Africa in 1884 by the Europeans, the region remained given to Menelik II of Ethiopia during 1891-97, but the territory was totally engulfed in 1954. The region has been in wars, cyclic droughts and total devastation since then, but mostly since 1960 up to now and State policies met with varying levels of resistance. The people of the region are naturally peaceful and where never allowed to exercise their right for self-determination, but rather subjected to longstanding hidden-sufferings and abuses by ruthless successive Ethiopian governments. The only sign of other Ethiopians present or living in this region is the presence of huge military garrisons, which are there only for repression and destruction of lives, both humans and animals. The Ethiopian populations is 64 million and are living in the 9 regions of Ethiopia, Oromonia is the largest region in Ethiopia, while the Somali region is the second. Ethiopia is considered by many experts to be the poorest country on earth, yet the present Ethiopian...

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Farmajo’s betrayal of the Somali people

All betrayals are not made equal. In recent weeks, a political disaster of epic proportions has befallen upon Somalia. The Somali government has committed what many – including some of its staunchest supporters – consider a treasonous act. Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) has extradited a Somali citizen, a highly decorated military officer, a war hero who was wounded in the 1977 war against Ethiopia and an officer of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) to Ethiopia without any due process. Initially, the government denied and dismissed all information related to the illegal rendition as “vicious rumours intended to undermine government’s credibility”; claiming their objective is “Qaran dumis” or to destroy the nation.  Once the truth hit the streets that Abdikarim Sheikh Muse (Qalbi-Dhagax) was handed over by his brethren to a brutal regime with a long record of human rights violations, it unleashed a collective public fury the likes of which Somalia had never seen. The public space became saturated with songs, poems, and skits expressing extreme disillusionment on a popular president – Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo – who only a few months earlier was celebrated as the long-awaited saviour of the nation. Making Matters Worse Desperate to shake off this scandal, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire convened a Council of Ministers emergency meeting. To the utter dismay of many who were still hopeful that their government will do what is right, the Council of Ministers...

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OGADEN: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame


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