Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land! – Sir Walter Scott

A shameful trend is emerging in the despotic Ethiopian government’s oppression of the Ogaden Somalis. This is unlike any of the past methods the Ethiopian tyranny utilized to infringe on the rights of the peaceful nomadic Somalis whose land it forcefully occupied close to a hundred years, rendering them a homeless lot and refugees for life. It is the practice of using a tiny section of the Ogaden Diaspora to legitimize its scorched earth policy in the region and to camouflage the illegal mass detentions, rape, torture, displacement and the siege of the Ogaden region which the international community is unfortunately blind to.

Every now and then some of these self-appointed Diaspora Ogaden community members, who claim to represent the oppressed Somalis in Ogaden, fly to Addis Ababa to solicit favor with the Ethiopian regime in exchange for hiding under the carpet the crimes against humanity their people undergo in the hands of the trigger happy Ethiopian army. These bought unconsciousable people rubber-stamp the atrocities the ruling EPRDF junta commits against their own people in the hope that they will politically benefit from these actions at the expense of the suffering voiceless majority.

What is even more surprising is that these people do not learn from the charitable and generous culture of freedom of speech, tolerance, justice, equality, rule of law, the right to elect preferred competent leaders and the entrenched democracy of their Western host nations. Even though the West recognizes them as international refugees and gives them warm homes for their families to live in, decent education to their kids and the service of trained professional midwives to their wives should they need them, they’re working hard to prevent the actualization of these very rights to their own people back home by being, voluntarily some of them, the spokespersons of the tormentors of their people. They know that the majority of children in Ogaden do not see the inside of a class room, that young mothers give birth under trees and makeshift structures, that men face summarily execution daily and sexual crimes are so rampant and wide spread, yet they go to Addis Ababa in so-called peace delegations to meet with Meles Zenawi – the butcher of Ogaden – with the sole aim of positioning themselves for a political puppetry and to earn his favors.

These short-sighted mercenaries hail from all Somali clans in the Ogaden. Their shared interest is to amass riches out of the rags that the occupying power has turned into the once proud and wealthy Somalis in that part of the Horn of Africa. They are like body lice sucking juicy blood out of the orifices of the carriers’ debilitated skin.

The shameful activities of these people are increasing each day as they try to outdo each other in their race to become the favorite lackeys of the Ethiopian regime. They dress in expensive suits and carry briefcases whose contents are freshly minted Ethiopian Birr. Like the overwhelming majority of Somalis in Ethiopia, they speak neither Amharic, the official language of that country, nor Tigrenya, the vernacular of the minority Tigrey cabal in power. One wonders which medium of communication they use to collude with the Ethiopian army generals in their determination to deny the Ogaden Somalis  the chance to live in the same freedom, peace, equality, justice,  and democracy they got from the civilized western world’s tax payers’ money. One wonders also, who needs peace more – the Diaspora mercenaries or the long suffering local people? Why are they not demanding (that is if they’re genuine) their people to be treated fairly? Obviously they can’t. It is well known that no one can deviate from the official script from Addis Ababa, so they have to blame the victims. But history will neither forget nor forgive these dead souls who have betrayed their people.

In addition, these men and women have the audacity to present themselves as succoring the very people whose existence they systematically help to be torn asunder. They shower praise and accolades on the clique of maladroit Somali regional government officials in the employ of the Ethiopian generals. They often rant about few kilometers of shoddy tarmac roads which are contracted to Tigrey construction companies in which the Somalis have no chance of being employed in. They rave about building non-existent schools and phantom hospitals. When they return back to the lands of freedom and peace, these unconscionable bought consciences attempt to hoodwink the uninformed in passionate harangue about false development which is impossibility as we all know what is going on in the ground and the Ethiopian army generals’ vested interest in the continued conflict in the region and the almost hermitic siege the Ethiopian regime imposed on the region specially since 2007.

Moreover, these sell outs together with regime secret services conspire with Somali speaking journalists to spread their casuistic messages and can be heard loud over the airwaves brazenly claiming to be working for peace where none exists. The unethical Somali news men and women with whom they share the spoils are their propaganda vehicles. Alas! The bulk of them turned to this sordid method of making a living at an advanced old age as they are mostly grand fathers who benefit from the persecution of their grand children’s age mates. They abandoned their good Somali etiquette of kindness and truthfulness for political exploitation and abetting crimes against humanity for short gain. Most of these sad souls from the Diaspora are either unemployed or unemployable in their host Western countries as they have no proper qualifications, eventually becoming a burden to the social security net of these countries. They are a burden to the free world and a double burden to the unfree Somalis in Ogaden. Why can’t they return to Ethiopia themselves and live there in peace if there is rule of law in that country as they often claim instead of being dependent on Western social welfare. They deserve to be stripped of their refugee status in the host nations as they are apparently not genuinely displaced people.

Ironically, these guys mingle with peace loving Ogaden Somalis without attracting the ire of the population, thanks to the ignorant tribal based society. It is mind-boggling that these unconscionable people who have done irreparable damage to the collective interests of their people still manage to hoodwink some of our people. Yes, in this world of mendacity and sophisticated conning, it is understandable some of the average folks can fall for them, but how on earth does their hogwash rhyme with supposedly learned Ogaden Somalis some of whom have never set foot on the Ethiopian occupied Ogaden? It is ridiculous and comic as it is tragic and heart-breaking in every aspect.

The Somali associates of the totalitarian regime in Addis Ababa cannot even venture out of Jijiga, the regional capital, upon arrival to see and experience for themselves how people in the hinterland and outlaying regions and towns live lest they stumble upon the military’s abuses. As government guests, they are taken around in convoys of expensive Land cruisers and other luxury cars under tight security to planned sites for vacation. Surely, this holiday making consumes much of the tax collected from the meager income of the pastoral society which could have been wisely spent on development. This practice can only be describes as singing wedding songs in a funeral.

The Ogaden people throughout the world including those under siege back home should view these honey diggers with the disdain they deserve and warn true peace loving Somalis not to be swayed by their empty rhetoric. Lasting peace in Ogaden can only come when the rule of the law is enforced to the spirit and letter of the constitution and people are allowed to have a greater say in molding the shape of their destiny.

The Ethiopian regime had in the past created many cloudy mists to hide its crimes in Ogaden. However, as was the fate of the previous cloudy mists, the current practice of employing Diaspora mercenaries to hide their crimes in the vain hope that this will create an aura of legitimacy for it shall come to pass and Somalis in Ogaden will one day enjoy a sunny day of freedom and justice under clear skies




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