Recently, Ugas Nur…a friend of mine, sent me a British Diplomatic cable that summed up our frustration with the Ethiopian/Abyssinian aggression and wondered: if anything has changed?
This was sent 119 years ago in 1892. Sheik Sufi, one of our elders at the time was complaining to the Brit’s about the Ethiopian crimes against us.
“ We are quivering under the oppressions of the Abyssinian, who have every year, for the last nine years, visited us and levied large numbers of sheep, goats, horses, camels and taken what they liked from us. We have no guns and are not powerful enough to fight and must submit. Last season the Abyssinian drove off all livestock; 900 men, women and children perished” he said.

Fast forward to 2011, innocent people still victimized by the same Abyssinians. Hundreds are in jail beaten and tortured as I write without any reason, innocent civilians are killed on a daily basis, rape is the weapon of choice for the so called “New Police” and whatever little property some people had is taken without any hesitation: It is clear nothing has changed.

The Ogaden people are in this 21st Century still petitioning to the Western World and to the government of UK as a former colonizer to Ogaden before it was turned over to Ethiopia in 1948. The 21st century petition of the Ogaden people said; ( — The Ogaden Region presents one of the most consistent cases of human rights violations in the world. Not only the rights that are essential for the maintenance of human dignity, such as culture, economic, social and political rights are denied, but the very basic rights of life and liberty which the majority of mankind takes for granted are infringed. The people in the Ogaden are constantly terrorized, abducted, detained, displaced, their properties are confiscated or destroyed and their land is mined by the forces of the Ethiopian government. The main problem is that there is a lack of news in the Ogaden region. Journalists, camera crews and any sort of media are never allowed to cover anything in the area of Ogaden region.)

To read this petition

Unlike Sheik Sufi’s time, we have the power today and the resources to make sure this does not continue for another 119 years. We the Somalis in Ogaden must all unite and work tirelessly to put this to an end; this is the time to stop these crimes against our people. We must stand up; there is a limit to how much oppression one can accept.

We must insist that the Ethiopian regime respects international human rights treaties that are ratified by all governments and the widespread impunity enjoyed by those who continue to commit these crimes must be brought to an end.



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