October 25, 2010

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) welcomes the recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report titled “Ethiopia: Donor Aid Supports Repression”. However, ONLF believes that HRW had been extremely conservative in regard to the level of abuse, to extent of avoiding totally the Ogaden Somali territory where the level of repression is so rampant that the regime is unwilling to allow any body from the outside world to witness it.

In the Ogaden the regime is not only denying humanitarian assistance to civilians who refuse to actively cooperate with the regimes security apparatus, but is using aid in every form not only for soliciting political support but for actively forcing people from every work of life to take up arms as militias and fight ONLF.

Furthermore, Ethiopia has used the aid for military purpose to suppress Ogaden Somali people’s demand for self-determination and to train and equip what they call special police which commit unprecedented crimes against humanity under the nose of the donor countries and organizations.

ONLF is convinced that the donor nations are aware of the fact that Ethiopian regime is unhesitatingly using humanitarian assistance as a tool for repression. Thus, this report of HRW of the misuse of international aid by Ethiopia is not surprising. The reality is that donor countries are not paying any attention to the findings of reports like this nor taking appropriate steps to ensure their aid reaches the beneficiary.

The indifference of the donors of the misuse of the humanitarian aid encourages Ethiopia to step up the gross human right abuses in Ogaden and it will continue to do so until the oppressed people assert their rights and deal decisively with this illegitimate regime.


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