Honorable Governor Jerry Brown

Honorable Congresswomen Susan Davis

Honorable Mayor Jerry Sanders

Honorable Chief William Lansdowne SDPD

From: Somali Ogaden Community

Ogaden Youth Network

On behalf of the Ogaden population and concerned citizens of the United States, The Ogaden community of San Diego would like to express its grave concern over the upcoming visit of suspected war criminal Abdi Mohamud Omar, the appointed regional president of the disputed Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia. In addition, we would like to bring to your attention the inconceivable harm, injustice and hardship faced by the inhabitants of the Ogaden at the hands of Mr. Omar and his local janjaweed like militias (militias created by the Sudanese government to fight in Darfur) called Liyuu police.

Situated in eastern Ethiopia, the Ogaden region has been contested by years of conflict and war between the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Ethiopian armed forces. In recent years the conflict in the Ogaden has escalated to unprecedented levels as it affects the lives of the civilian population and contributes to the endless suffering of millions. The escalation of violence is largely due to the Ethiopian governments “anti-insurgency” campaign which has been directed towards the civilian population as an approach against the ONLF, and their struggle for self determination.

Since being appointed in July 2010 Mr. Omar and his Liyuu militia have been accused of resorting to force to maintain Mr. Omar’s dominance and control over the region. According to numerous and credible humanitarian and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, under the regional leadership of Omar and at the direction of the Ethiopian government, the Ethiopian armed forces and Liyuu militia perpetrated countless human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity that include, but are not limited to, mass detentions; rape; the destruction of property; sexual abuse, mistreatment of detainees; force relocations; the deliberate deprivation of resources; and various genocidal acts. Satellite images by the American Association for the Advancement of Science confirm reports that the Ethiopian military burned entire villages in remote areas of the Ogaden. Under the Rome Statute such actions are considered war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The systematic oppression and genocidal massacres occurring in the Ogaden region have gone unnoticed by the international community and have prevented international relief organizations from providing medical and humanitarian aid to the millions who are affected by the conflict. This is largely due to the Ethiopian government’s decision to expel all humanitarian and human rights organizations from the region. The Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and Amnesty International have all been forced from the region after voicing numerous concerns over the human rights abuses in the Ogaden, leading many advocates of human rights to conclude that the Ethiopian government is indeed concealing its crimes in the Ogaden.

Despite the heinous crimes Mr. Omar has committed, he arrogantly intends on hosting meetings in both Minnesota and California two states with very large Somali populations in order to spread his message of hate and more importantly to dismiss and justify the crimes against humanity in which he has committed in the Ogaden region.

Therefore it is essential for the State of California to promote human rights in the Ogaden by sending a clear and unmistakable message to the Ethiopian government and the rest of the world that signifies the heinous human rights abuses and the prolonged conflict in the Ogaden will not be welcomed nor tolerated by the United States. Furthermore, it is imperative that the State of California take swift measures that block Mr. Omar and his delegation from entering and preaching their hate which has caused unspeakable harm to so many people.

There are currently hundreds of refugees and asylees living in San Diego County who have fled from Mr. Omar and his militia. At your earliest connivance we would like all of you to take the opportunity and meet these individuals and here for yourselves the horrendous crimes committed against them.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this request; we look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Somali Ogaden Community of San Diego
Ogaden Youth Network of San Diego

 
 

1 Comment

  1. Musse says:

    this Gangs needs action not talk.