Ethiopia Determined to Conceal The Ogaden Plight From the World Community

Editor’s Note. We published this Article on May 22, 2007.


May 22, 2007

The illegal detention and release without charge or explanation of the three New York Times journalists in Ogaden by the Ethiopian Military confirms the veracity of what the Ogaden press has been publishing for years now.

Illegal detentions, physical torture and threatening torture, as was the case with the Times journalists, are the order of the day for the Ogaden citizenry in the hands of the Ethiopian military and its associated militias. Worse there are rapes and extra judicial killings carried out daily by the Ethiopian military and its associated militias in many parts
of Ogaden.

These atrocities against the helpless Ogaden civilians are witnessed and reported ONLY by the Ogaden press whose few reporters defy death in order to report what the Ogaden populace has faced for a century and quarter now in the hands of successive Ethiopian regimes. Only the Ogaden press was even aware that these journalists were detained in the first place and reported the journalists detention.

Ethiopia is determined to conceal, at all costs, the plight of the Ogaden populace. It is the very reason why no foreign journalist or visitor is allowed to set foot in Ogaden. It is also why the Times journalists were detained to prevent the publication of whatever information they might have gathered during their brief sojourn in Ogaden.

Ethiopia understands that should any foreign journalist visit Ogaden, he or she will get an accurate picture of the extent of maltreatment and colonial subjugation faced by the Ogaden populace in the hands of the current Ethiopian regime.

It is the Ethiopian regimes inherent belief that what the outside world can not see and hence prove can always be explained away as an Ogaden propaganda should questions be raised by the few prying eyes of the West.The policy of the current autocracy in Addis Ababa is to confine Westernjournalists in Addis Ababa and its environs instead of allowing them to visit Ogaden, the current theatre of death.

Even the few brave Non-Governmental Organizations, NGO that work in Ogaden are not accorded freedom of movement. There are documented cases where NGOs were attacked by disguised Ethiopian military personnel and associated militias in order to manufacture insecurity and force these NGOs to repatriate their staff from Ogaden cities.

The world should know that atrocities are taking place in Ogaden; atrocities carried out by a regime hell bent to conceal the extent of the plight of the Ogaden populace. If this regime can detain without charge, and contrary to all diplomatic conventions, American journalists for five days, one can understand what awaits any other journalist who attempts to document atrocities carried out the Ethiopian regime in Ogaden.

The detention of the Times journalists should be a wake up call to the world community. The world community and its press should not abandon the Ogaden people. The world community should investigate the extent of maltreatment and colonial subjugation in Ogaden. The world community should insist that Ethiopia allow foreign journalists access to Ogaden. Hopefully the world community will no longer allow Ethiopia to conceal the plight of the Ogaden populace.
Ogaden Online Editorial

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