Based on Ethiopian’s approach to Ogaden conflict in which, according to their old mentality, they think they can solve it at the gun point instead of political dialogue, it is obvious that Ethiopia has not come to understand the magnitude of the Ogaden problem.  Ever since the Ethiopian soldiers set their foot in Ogaden land, the resistance of the ogaden people against those soldiers has been there, and Ogadenians never accepted those foreigners who came to their motherland without their permission. The intensity of the Somali Ogaden battle against occupiers has been constantly increasing since that time until now. Millions of lives were lost on both side, but actually Ethiopia paid heavy price in Ogaden conflict. The Ogaden war has destroyed Ethiopia economically, militarily and humanly and that is why it is one of the poorest countries on the earth even though they claim to have 2000 years of history. These 2000 years has brought to them nothing but backwardness, poverty and ignorance. Today, everybody knows that Ethiopia lives on handouts donated by western donors, and unfortunately, the handouts don’t go to the needy people, but to the military. The main cause of the Ethiopian’s deteriorating condition is the Ogaden war, having said that Ethiopia doesn’t seem to understand it.

As history shows, Ethiopian successive regimes adamantly tried to crush the Ogaden resistance using every means and tools available for them as such killing indiscriminately, torturing, rapping, displacing and arresting. Nevertheless, none of these tools has worked for them in Ogaden yet; unfortunately Ethiopia has never changed its attitude toward Ogaden issue. It looks like it doesn’t get it. All different regimes that ruled Ethiopia had same approach to Ogaden conflict while Somali Ogadenians received same treatments from those regimes whish was more marginalization and more human right violation. The Somali Ogaden people do know that when it comes to Ogaden, there is only one manual book that is inherited from one regime to another and in that manual there is only one law, the law of the gun whereas the judge who reinforces the law is always the soldier. However, the occupiers never succeeded in fulfilling their wishes which was to subdue the résistance by any means possible.  the Ogaden struggle has lasted longer than many Ethiopian rulers including Melilik, Haille Salaise, mengistu and Meles Zenawi whose downfalls has  more things to do with Ogadenians’ total rejection and fierce battle against their regimes.

No regime ever attempted to look at the Ogaden issue with different glasses including the current one, but whoever came to power followed the footsteps of his predecessor enforcing the same old failure policy of oppressing, intimidating and depriving of the people’s God given rights. Surprisingly, no ruler has ever tried to learn their predecessor’s mistakes in order to avoid falling into the same trap. Now we may ask ourselves why Ethiopian rulers should not face the reality and solve Ogaden matter peacefully or what makes the rulers think the same strategy that didn’t work for previous regime will work for his regime. I believe there are two reasons why they think that way:

Firstly, Ethiopians don’t believe in dialogue, political solution or reconciliation because according to their beliefs, sitting with their opponents around the table to resolve their difference is nothing but accepting defeat. On the other hand, for those who are in power always believe wholeheartedly that they could solve Ogaden problem by force. Therefore, their philosophy is either they should be killed and eliminated or they should annihilate their enemies completely. However, in their dreams they have achieved nothing but more destruction and more loss of lives.

Secondly, I honestly believe, the main reason why Ethiopians have never been serious about Ogaden issue is that majority of Ethiopians don’t see the Somali Ogaden people as equal partner.  More than 95% of Ethiopians don’t believe that Somali Ogadenians are Ethiopians by nationality while equal numbers of them believe the Ogaden land is, has been, part of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian people in general are very closed minded people who don’t bother studying history and they don’t often question what their dictatorial rulers tell them. The mainstream population has no idea that the Ethiopian highlanders came to Ogaden in 1954 nor do they want to know because they have already been programmed that Ogaden land is Ethiopian land and Somali Ogaden people are from Somalia. Most of the Ethiopians accepted this narration that Ogadenians aren’t part of them, and this is the reason why they are indifferent to what has been happening to them. To the eyes of the Ethiopian media, whatever happens in Ogaden good or bad is not worthy in reporting or mentioning. The crimes and genocidal activities that have been going on in Ogadenia since occupiers conquered Ogadenland have never been reported by Ethiopian reporters.  It has been regimes’ policy to treat Somali Ogaden people as second class citizen, and because of that the main population perceives intuitively that Ogadenians are inferior to them. All in all Ethiopians don’t only marginalize Somali Ogadenians, but also degrade them physically and psychologically in every possible way. Thus, it is hard for them to deal with Ogaden people whom they don’t recognize as an equal partner.  They believe Somali Ogadenians don’t even have a right to speak out or demand more rights. In addition to that, the majority of Ethiopian officials are too arrogant and too cruel to even recognize Ogaden situation as a problem.

Because of the stubbornness of the Ethiopian politicians and their indifference to the lives of their people as well as the lives of Ogadenians citizens, it seems to me that the human suffering in that part of the world will continue for seeable future. There are few things that Ethiopians don’t understand at all and unless they open their eyes and understand these things, the situation in horn of Africa will never settle down. Now with loud and clear voice, it is good for Ethiopians to understand the following:

Ogaden land: Ethiopia should understand that Ogaden land: “ belongs to the Somali people of Ogadenia, not to Tigrean, Ahmarean, or to any other community. Again, they have to understand that this piece of land is for Ogadenian not for Ethiopians; they should also ask themselves why they are allowing their children and youths to die for a land that is not theirs.  They should also keep in mind that, claiming of somebody else’s property falsely doesn’t qualify them to be the owner of that property no matter what they do. If Ethiopia believes they can rule Ogadenia by force forever, I think they are either lying to themselves or too naïve to grasp the reality in the ground. Soon or later Ethiopia will leave Ogadenia. They will face the same fate that the previous colonizers faced, but it seems that Ethiopia doesn’t get it. They’d better leave Ogaden land before it becomes too late for them and things get worse.

The regime in Addis Ababa: must be recognize that Killings, torture and intimidation has never and will never deter the Ogaden people from pursuing their self-determination. Ethiopia knows better than anybody else that even though, all previous regimes have used every technique in the book to control the Ogaden freedom movement from spreading their ideology, they all have failed miserably. Furthermore, the armed struggle led by ONLF has reached to no returning point, therefore, Ethiopia should know that the Somali Ogaden is more determined than ever, and they are ready to confront them anywhere, anytime and anyhow.  ONLF will not rest nor falter until they dismantle their illegal colonial authority in Ogaden and force them to flee with their tails between their legs.

Ogaden Movement: Ethiopia should comprehend that the Ogaden struggle is not a struggle that is carried out by few individuals or few groups, but a grass-root movement which has a support of more than 2/3 of the Somali Ogaden people. In many occasions, the regime in Addis Ababa committed a criminal activity against members of ONLF such as assassination, kidnapping and other coldblooded operations not only within the Ogaden territory, but also in foreigner soils in intention of containing the ever increasing popularity of ONLF among Somali Ogaden community and international stages. For the last two years alone, Ethiopian secret service which is very active in Kenya has assassinated high profile individuals from Ogaden community in Nairobi and IFO refugee camp. In January 26, 2014 the Tigrean led regime in Addis Ababa sent a shockwaves to the world after when they abducted Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein who were members of negotiating team between ONLF and Ethiopia. The two abducted leaders had to participate in the third round peace talk between ONLF and Ethiopia which was supposed to be held in Nairobi in anytime. The local and international mass media are still trying to figure out what made Ethiopia regime take this terrorist act in a free country, however, what many people don’t know about Ethiopia is that Ethiopia is not a country with a good record in respecting international laws and territorial integrity of its neighbors. There is no doubt that Ethiopia has been defeated inside Ogadenia by ONLF fighters. The abduction incident has already back-fired the Ethiopian regime, and its public relations have been damaged while it united and energized Somali Ogaden people. Ethiopia is losing big time against ONLF in every stages, locally and internationally

If Ethiopia thinks that it can suppress the freedom movement in Ogaden by kidnapping or murdering some individuals, I must say Ethiopia doesn’t get it. They should be realistic when it comes to dealing with Ogaden conflict. Let them not be misguided by their false imagination that the Ogaden problem will vanish easily through assassination and abduction. Make no mistakes that the civilian revolts and armed struggle led by ONLF against Addis Ababa regime will never go away until the Woyane administration is removed from Ogaden territory once and for all.




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