ogaden warI will never forget the day that Ethiopian army backed by tanks and other military vehicles attacked my nomadic village, starting shooting everybody at sight while burning our whole village to the ground. I was too young to recall all of what happened in that day in details, but I vividly remember most of the horrible events that took place in that particular afternoon. It was around 3pm on a normal day, when we heard sounds of bullets coming from the southern direction, “bang, bang, and bang!”! I didn’t know what the sound was, but I immediately noticed people running to different directions, and all of sudden I saw my mom running towards me. I knew something strange was going on. She immediately grabbed my arm leading me and my younger sister to a nearby bush. I didn’t understand why people were terrified, but the only thing I could see was a chaotic scene where everybody was trying to run as fast as they could. I was too young to figure out what we were running from and why. My mom, may Allah put her soul in “Paradise” didn’t take a breath until she brought us to a safe place. The fear in her face was obvious and I have never seen my mom frightened like that before. One thing was for sure; she did not fear for her life, but she was concerned about our life as her children.  In the jungle, we met some terrorized villagers. As we vanished into a bush we felt a sense of security. We all started feeling the pain of the thorns that have been piercing in our bare feet. The expression on the faces of elders, construed that something bad had happened. News of fatality spread immediately like a fire among the community members; however, nobody knew who those victims were. Everybody worried about their loved ones. No sooner did my mom start searching for my older brother and my dad whom we did not have any idea of their whereabouts.   On top of killing three community members at the outskirts of the village, the attackers confiscated hundreds of animals such as goats, sheep and cows where they slaughtered most of them right away while they took the rest.

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Ali Yare


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