October 26, 2011

From Mid-October, the Ethiopian Army has started forcefully relocating thousands of families in the rural areas around Obole where the Chinese Company, PetroTrans, is conducting illegal oil exploration. The Ethiopian Army is rounding up all adults and detaining them in few designated villages around the road between Jigjiga and Degahbur, leaving behind their children and livestock unattended at the mercy of wild beasts. Furthermore, the Ethiopian Army is separating the women and taking them to military camps for sexual abuse. Some of villages used as concentration camps are Obole, Higlalay, Magalo-cad, Bilcil-bur, Gosolalay and Araarso.

Civilians who escaped from this massive campaign are highly distressed and hiding in nearby towns. They are recounting horrendous stories about the fate of the young children left behind. The Liberation Army found the remains of young children and livestock eaten by hyenas.

The Ethiopian security and its local agents are telling the rural population that anybody found in the oil exploration zones will be shot on sight. This is an escalation of the ethnic cleansing of Ogaden people that has been continuing since 2007 and is unprecedented in both scale and savagery and needs urgent international attention and immediate intervention to stop it.

SinceEthiopiahas isolated Ogaden and allows no international media to report about the calamity in Ogaden, the Ethiopian Army has a free rein to conduct scorched earth campaigns with impunity without fear of retribution.  Consequently, the Ogaden people have no international or national protect since the Ethiopian state protection is itself is conducting the pogrom. The possibility of thousands of civilians perishing and hundreds of thousands migrating is eminent unless urgent international intervention happens.

Therefore, ONLF appeals to the UN, the Security Council, the AU and the international community to act immediately and take adequate measures to protect the civilian population in Ogaden.

Ogaden National Liberation Front




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