Ethiopia’s HIV Carriers and the Consequences for the Ogaden Populace
Editors Note: We published this article on June 28, 2006
The recent news that Ethiopia’s chief of general staff is gravely ill with full blown aids and is being treated in the USA is not a shock to those who know the promiscuity of Ethiopian army personnel led by Tigrian generals who see sex, both consensual and gang rape, as a form of subjugation. It is no secret in many parties of Ethiopia and Ogaden that militias deployed there see themselves as both judges and the juries.
These militias masquerading as army personnel, many of whom are infected with AIDS carryout gang rapes not only to intentionally spread the virus but also to instill unparalleled fear into the civilian population especially the nomads in Ogaden. These militias know full well that in Ogaden one would rather die in slow death rather than admit to having the Aids virus. The consequences of a single Aids infection in Ogaden are unimaginable.
Ogaden is a country where majority of its society neither reads nor writes in any language. Ogaden is also a land where the most basic of health infrastructures is non existent. Furthermore Ogaden is a place where, due to ignorance and misconceptions, it is taboo for one to admit having the most curable of diseases such as tuberculosis. Even when the signs of tuberculosis are evident, it not unexpected to encounter an Ogaden Somali who will always insist that he has a bad flu or cold.
Part of this denial is the result of the society’s lack of medical knowledge which causes one to think that to admit to a disease is a sign of a major weakness. In this closed, illiterate society with the non-existent health infrastructure and under colonial rule, one can imagine how a single Aids infection may cause the demise and slow death of many members of the society.
Ogaden Online reporters in Ogaden have documented many gang rapes both women and children especially boys. To our knowledge none of the rape victims have come forward to seek medical attention. It is not highly unlikely that some of these gang rape victims have been infected with the Aids virus as Ethiopia and especially its army personnel have one of the highest Aids infection rates in the sub-Saharan Africa.
Ogaden Online editorial board sees Aids tragedy in the making in Ogaden. Even though we are not doctors, however we see and have documented all the signs of an Aids outbreak in Ogaden due to the regime in Addis Ababa’s dictatorial and colonial tactics of deploying Aids infected militias in Ogaden. We would like the world community to come to the aid of the Ogaden populace.
The world health organization should carryout mass medical examinations in order to find out the true picture and impact of the Aids infected soldier’s sexual misconducts on the Ogaden citizenry. The world community should make it clear to Ethiopia’s generals and the fascist but pretentious ‘democrat’ in Addis Ababa, Meles Zenawi that the deliberate infection and spread of the Aids virus in Ogaden is to be considered as an indictable war crimes offence.