– Recently, Swedish journalists attempting to report on the area were arrested. Reports speak of 1,000 Somalis fleeing to Ethiopian refugee camps everyday but not of Ethiopian Somalis from the Ogaden. Can they even leave for help? When the world finally sees inside, what will we see and will we be too late? Will we find a genocide by hunger? If Al-Shabab is opening up their controlled regions to humanitarian groups why is Meles Zenawi not doing the same?

– Following the human rights violations in the Gambella region that continued for the next two years, multiple human rights investigations were completed by independent foreign-based groups such as Genocide Watch, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; however, these groups are no longer allowed to conduct such investigations and have been warned of potential arrest, like what has happened with the two Swedish journalists allegedly attempting to do the same in the Ogaden region.

– Right now, no organization can operate independently in Ethiopia without fear of repercussions. Instead, information must come from Ethiopians in the Diaspora who are in close communication with family and community members on the ground. Because of this, those interested in supporting the advancement of human rights, democracy and poverty eradication in Ethiopia should not make the mistake of funding these pseudo-institutions—even though they are the only ones operating in the country—for they do not represent the interests of the people. Instead, support should be given to Diaspora groups who are now the only ones left to tell the truth about what is going on.

– This regime has denied the magnitude of what has been called the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world by calling indigenous resistance, terrorists and acting against them without holding back. As the Meles regime seeks to pursue its own economic interests from exploiting the vast reserves of natural gas in the region, armed resistance has risen up. Such resistance is then immediately countered by the Meles-controlled ENDF; who have benefited from labeling the insurgency as a terrorist group; even while committing its own acts of terrorism against civilians of the Ogaden and into Somalia.

Obang Metho (Director of the Anuak Justice Council (AJC), Founder and Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement For A New Ethiopia (SMNE), Ethiopia)

 

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