ONLF Press release – EXTRA-ORDINARY RENDITION OF OGADEN REFUGEES BY DJIBOUTI TO ETHIOPIA
3 February, 2011
The Djibouti government, in collaboration with Ethiopian security forces, has executed a Gestapo style operation resulting in the arrest and the extra-ordinary rendition to Ethiopia of nearly one hundred Ogaden refugees and legal residents living in Djibouti. This operation began on January 20, 2011, when Djibouti police joined by Ethiopian security officials raided more than thirty homes, businesses and workplaces in Djibouti City.
This joint operation forcefully detained ethnic Somalis from Ogaden and took them to a military camp on the outskirts of the city of Djibouti where they were placed on military trucks on the 23rd of January and taken to an unknown destination in Ethiopia.
Sources from Djibouti security confirmed that several detainees died from torture during their detention in Djibouti. The whereabouts of the rest these victims is now unknown even to their families.
Throughout this sweep up, Djibouti police specifically targeted Somalis from Ogaden in what was clearly a well-planned and deliberate operation resulting from what appears to be a new security arrangement between Ethiopia and Djibouti.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front has sought to address this Gestapo style operation through Diplomatic channels, but the Djibouti government unashamedly resorted to fabricating fictitious plots purportedly committed by these innocent refugees and residents under its legal and moral protection.
The Djibouti regime has breached both the African Charter and international conventions on the rights of refugees. By doing Ethiopia’s bidding, the government of Djibouti has acted irresponsibly and recklessly. Those refugees and legal residents from Ogaden swept up and extradited to Ethiopia by the Djiboutian regime have a clear and well-founded fear of persecution in Ethiopia. The fate of those individuals is therefore the responsibility of the Djiboutian government.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) condemns this heinous crime and calls on the international community to hold the government of Djibouti and the Ethiopian regime to account.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front has sacrificed for the past sixteen years some of its most strategic interests in order to safeguard the National security of Djibouti due to the brotherly ties between the people of Djibouti and the people of Ogaden.
This act represents a clear indication that the Djibouti government does not value the relations of our two respective people.
As such, the message of ONLF to the Djiboutian government is that Ogaden people’s struggle will not be intimidated with ill advised and misguided acts of such as this extradition of our people. These acts will only increase the determination of the people of Ogaden to continue their legitimate struggle for self-determination.
Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)