Urgent Appeal: Cholera kills more 300  in the last 72 hours in Ogaden

More than   300 hundred people died of the cholera epidemic in Ogaden during the last 72 hours.  Thousand are also at life-threatening stage with no medicine or health support. Although the majority of the towns in Ogaden are affected, the disease is creating havoc in the rural areas, with no health facilities or emergency provisions. Villagers are reporting that families find their relatives dead in the remote areas while tending livestock. Some are found days later mauled by wild animals. Both the Federal government of Ethiopia and the regional administration are hiding the extent of the epidemic and are not providing the urgent help needed.

The most affected areas are in the regions of Jarar (dhegahbuur); Nogob (to urge), Qorahay (Qabridaharre) and Shabelle. Similar death are reported in Doollo, Afdheer and Liibaan regions. Since November, it is conservately estimated that more than 2000 died in the remote rural areas in Ogaden. The situation is further exacerbated by the drought and lack of adequate food or water and people are so emancipated that anyone affected dies quickly.

Although both the UN and the Ethiopian government mention the drought and the Cholera (Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) in their reports, no concrete action has been taken. The people are dying for a curable disease that involves few antibiotics. However, the Ethiopian government has deprived the Somali people in Ogaden the ability to buy medicine or food in the neighbouring countries by the ruthlessly imposing an undeclared embargo on trade, aid while free access for international NGO’s and the independent media to most of the Ogaden.

ONLF urgently appeals to the World Health Organisation and UN agencies to heed the call for help from the Ogaden people and take an urgent action in Ogaden regarding the drought and Cholera. Visits and reports are not enough. The Ethiopian government is committing a crime tantamount to genocide in preventing the Ogaden people in have access to medicine and food– an inhuman and heinous act.

ONLF calls upon the AU, EU, USA , the OIC, ICC,  and other donor countries to  press the Ethiopian government and the UN to act urgently to alleviate the calamity that is unfolding in Ogaden- specifically, to allow international NGOs to provide urgent medical  relief and food aid to the rural agro-pastoralist community.

ONLF calls upon the Somali people and all peoples in Ethiopian to highlight the issue to the international community and offer their support.


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