8-11, 2011.

Distinguished Delegates and guests of the Radical Party Transnational Transparty and associated organisations, it is a great honour for ONLF delegation to participate in this great event with  people of diverse views and organisations  who all cherish democracy and respect of the dignity of human being, justice, freedom and peace.

The world today is in a sad state, where in many parts of the world, tyranny and repression has become the order of the day. Wars, Human rights abuses and disenfranchisement of minorities and stateless peoples is happening in many parts of the world.

Esteemed delegates and guests

I come from Ogaden in the Horn of Africa, where the Ethiopian government is committing genocide with impunity while the international community is knowingly looking the other way. For those who may not know the Ogaden, it is between Somalia and Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government, which currently occupies Ogaden, has imposed a trade and aid embargo and does not allow people to trade or international organisations to provide aid to the people. It has illegally detained more than 10,000 civilians, holding them in detention camps, torturing them and abusing them in indescribable ways. Four thousand of these detainee civilians are women, each of which is raped and humiliated in grotesque inhumane ways.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian army forcefully relocated Thousands of pastoralist families from their land in order to make way for Multinational Oil corporations such as Petro-Trans (china), PETRONAS ( Malaysia , African Lundin Oil ( Canada, Sweden) and others to prospect for oil. It is selling Ogaden and other Ethiopian farmlands to giant agribusiness companies from India, Saudi Arabia and Latin American companies, while the people are dying of famine and lack of food. Some of these companies grow flowers for export on farmlands that used to produce food for the poor families who are now dependent on aid from the West while their land is growing flowers for recreation.

Because of these scorched earth policies of the Ethiopian Government, more hundreds of thousands of Ogaden refugees had been forced to flee their land to refugee camps in Kenya and Yemen. These refugees undergo extreme hardship, suffer in horrendous ways to reach their destinations, and when they reach there, do not receive any meaningful care.

The UN, Human Rights Watch and international NGOs investigated these atrocities, issued reports detailing grave human rights violations against Ogaden civilians by the Ethiopian Army, and suggested recommendations, but unfortunately, the UN never took up any follow-up action, nor put the issue into the international agenda in order to make Ethiopia accountable for its crimes. In fact, the Ethiopian regime started receiving more aid as if being rewarded for the transgressions it was committing and its leaders accorded more respect, while other states in the region that did not commit what Ethiopia did in the Horn of Africa was unjustly put under UN sanctions. This double standard is making a mockery of the claim to the existence of international justice that is for all human beings, instead of favoured few.

Therefore, we kindly request the Radical party and associated organisations to support the Ogaden people in their quest for justice by putting the Ogaden issue on the international agenda.

Finally, since we as people have suffered innumerable injustices for the last fifty years since the UN turned over our territory to Ethiopia and know the pain people subjected to injustices suffer, we will therefore fully support the rights of all oppressed peoples and specifically the rights of women, children and the disabled. We further pledge that we will lead our people to exercise any measures that will safeguard the ecology of the Ogaden Territory.

Thanks

ONLF delegation to NRPTT

December 9, 2011

 

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