Group accuses Woyanne of war crimes in Ogaden – By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press

June 12th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

NAIROBI, Kenya – Ethiopia’s government is committing war crimes in its military campaign against rebels in the Ogaden region, a rights group charged Thursday in a report that complained the U.S. and other Western governments willfully ignored abuses.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said Ethiopian troops are beating and strangling civilians, staging public executions and burning villages in Ogaden. It said the allegations were based on more than 100 eyewitness accounts. (more…)

NAIROBI, Kenya – Ethiopia’s government is committing war crimes in its military campaign against rebels in the Ogaden region, a rights group charged Thursday in a report that complained the U.S. and other Western governments willfully ignored abuses.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said Ethiopian troops are beating and strangling civilians, staging public executions and burning villages in Ogaden. It said the allegations were based on more than 100 eyewitness accounts.
An Ethiopian official denied the charges.

A State Department spokesman, Gonzalo Gallegos, said officials had not seen the report. He declined to comment generally about the insurgency in the Ogaden.

Washington looks to Ethiopia for help in the fight against Islamic extremists in East Africa, where al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 225 people. Ethiopia is helping the U.N.-backed government in neighboring Somalia against Muslim insurgents.

“The silence of the U.S. government is not a silence based on ignorance,” said Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “They are ignoring the information available to them.”

Ethnic Somalis have been fighting for more than a decade seeking greater autonomy in the desolate Ogaden, which is being explored for oil and gas. Ethiopian forces stepped up operations after rebels attacked a Chinese-run oil exploration field in April 2007, killing 74 people.

“The Ethiopian army’s answer to the rebels has been to viciously attack civilians in the Ogaden,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director for Human Rights Watch.

The group also said the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front has violated humanitarian law by conducting the oil attack and by setting land mines along roads. Ethiopia accuses the rebels of being financed by its archenemy, Eritrea.

Bereket Simon, special adviser to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, denied all allegations in the report.

“It’s not true,” he said. “It’s the same old fabrication.”

Asked whether an internal investigation was planned, he said: “How can we investigate lies and innuendoes? How can we try to disprove lies by investigating?”

Gagnon chided Ethiopia’s leading donors, including the United States, Britain and the European Union, accusing them of ignoring what is happening in Ogaden.

“These widespread and systematic atrocities amount to crimes against humanity,” she said. “Yet Ethiopia’s major donors, Washington, London and Brussels, seem to be maintaining a conspiracy of silence around the crimes.”

Gagnon said Western governments and institutions give at least $2 billion in aid to Ethiopia every year.

“Influential states use many excuses, such as lack of information and strategic priorities, to downplay the grave human rights concerns in Somali Region,” she said. “But crimes against humanity can’t be swept under the carpet.”

To view a multimedia feature with interactive satellite maps of attack sites in Ogaden and a Human
Rights Watch audio interview, please visit: http://hrw.org/features/ethiopia/

  1. Mussa Ghedi
    | #1

    Yet again,

    “It’s not true” he said. “Its the same old fabrication.” I do not think anyone with a minimal moral value would expect a different answer from these diabolical lieyers. The crimes the woyane regime is commiting againest the people of Ethiopia is not limited to war crimes only. Ethiopians have remained victims of man made humanitarian crisis, hence, nearly 5 million are on the verge of starvation; i.e. inspite of woyane’s propaganda about their ineffective safety net system. To avoid human catastrphy due to drought, an early warning system was adopted and was operational long before woyanes siezed power and I do not know what has become of it now. Famine is the result of long term lack of subsistance and yet woyane has been druming about pony Millenium targets, bright future, development achievements and the likes. Then came in May the phony election which they claim wone with a land slide victory and obviously the celebration of their accent to power also in May. There has not been any mention of the threat of famine till only recent weeks. and it has not even benefitted a column on their false media. Bereket would have denied the food shortage and the looming famine as well had it not involved an influx of hard currency from the ever tiring, affluent and generous donors. It just baffles me what sort of creatures the woyane front has produced, its just a sad state for all Ethiopians.

  2. WEGESHAW
    | #2

    Mussa ,
    I agree with your statements absolutely,
    We have to thank individuals like Elizabeth A. Kennedy who revealed the truth.

    Here under I have attached a poem which was written long time ago by Anonymous Ethiopian,
    but still kept in my files and it reads as follows:

    “Ergiman” “Ergimat” or “Bereket” ?

    Your parents genuinely gave the name “Bereket”?
    They didn’t see evil in you the “Aganent”
    When you were “ergum”, the cursed boy in fact
    Let us strait the wrong to be corrected right
    Go to your lawyer and ask for files to submit
    For a name change -
    which fits as you are “Shaebiat”

    Is murdering school children a “Bereket”?
    Or slaughtering people in day light?
    Why not we change your name to-
    Assassin, or cold blooded bandit?
    The second hit man of Ethiopia to say the least

    The blood you spilled starting in the jungles
    Then Amharas, Oromos,the Anuaks
    The Sidamas,Gurages,Somalians
    The Welaitas,and all other ethnic groups
    The slaughter of school children -
    and University students
    The deliberate murder of -
    Christians and Muslim brothers
    The army members -
    who genuinely fought for all Ethiopians
    The looting of a country by some sworn enemies
    Who sold their “Mother land” -
    to the deadliest foes
    While the true defendants languish in prisons,
    Is that not enough to change your wrong names?
    Not “Bereket” -
    But “Shaebia’s adviser for Ethiopia”
    Or your boss we name -
    “Sworn enemy’s prime monster – for Ethiopia”

    You are there for our lack of unity
    Which you implanted deliberately
    You are there by spreading animosity
    Deceiving the world powers “skillfully”?
    With all your efforts to vain -
    Ethiopia shall live eternally!
    With her children united -
    as history showed truly!

    And so Mr. Foreigner – “Bereket”
    Let us call you “Ergiman” or better “Ergimat”?
    Before you go to Hell -
    or Hague, to meet your fate
    Ethiopia will prevail and comeback triumphant!

    (By Anonymous Ethiopian 30/05/2007)

  3. WEGESHAW
    | #3

    Mussa ,
    I agree with your statements absolutely,
    We have to thank individuals like Elizabeth A. Kennedy who revealed the truth.

    Here under I attached a poem which was written long time ago by Anonymous Ethiopian,
    but still kept in my files and it reads as follows:

    “Ergiman” “Ergimat” or “Bereket” ?

    Your parents genuinely gave the name “Bereket”?
    They didn’t see evil in you the “Aganent”
    When you were “ergum”, the cursed boy in fact
    Let us strait the wrong to be corrected right
    Go to your lawyer and ask for files to submit
    For a name change -
    which fits as you are “Shaebiat”

    Is murdering school children a “Bereket”?
    Or slaughtering people in day light?
    Why not we change your name to-
    Assassin, or cold blooded bandit?
    The second hit man of Ethiopia to say the least

    The blood you spilled starting in the jungles
    Then Amharas, Oromos,the Anuaks
    The Sidamas,Gurages,Somalians
    The Welaitas,and all other ethnic groups
    The slaughter of school children -
    and University students
    The deliberate murder of -
    Christians and Muslim brothers
    The army members -
    who genuinely fought for all Ethiopians
    The looting of a country by some sworn enemies
    Who sold their “Mother land” -
    to the deadliest foes
    While the true defendants languish in prisons,
    Is that not enough to change your wrong names?
    Not “Bereket” -
    But “Shaebia’s adviser for Ethiopia”
    Or your boss we name -
    “Enemy’s prime monster, for Ethiopia”

    You are there for our lack of unity
    Which you implanted deliberately
    You are there by spreading animosity
    Deceiving the world powers “skillfully”?
    With all efforts to vain -
    Ethiopia shall live eternally!
    With her children united -
    as history showed truly!

    And so Mr. Foreigner – “Bereket”
    Let us call you “Ergiman” or better “Ergimat”?
    Before you go to Hell -
    or Hague, to meet your fate
    Ethiopia will prevail and comeback triumphant!

    (By Anonymous Ethiopian 30/05/2007)

  4. Aselefu
    | #4

    Satellite picture or not, the Ethiopian Army is known for its discipline. There is no such thing as ogadenian, either they are ethiopian or non-ethiopians.
    There are those who thought that betting with the eritreans would help, they will soon find out that their percieved enemy’s enemy is not their friend.
    People of Ogaden must realize that they are being used by Eritrea and Egypt. Messing with Ethiopia, killing people who are working to develop the country wont help. The ethiopian army will hunt the criminal down and justice will be delivered.
    Do not hide behind the eritreans because they will doublecross as soon as their objective is met. Notice how they double crossed sudan, djibouti, ethiopia, yemen, and even fellow eritreans.
    Ogaden Liberation Front is the pipe dream of the asmara mafia.
    and please do not hide behind a your relgion because it does not permit you to wage war a fellow Ethiopian.
    Somalis, please if you dont want to be part of Ethiopia, please leave our country and reside in your quagmire. Ethiopia opens her hands only to those want to be ethiopia. Greater somaliland is a bad dream that might change to a nightmare if attempted to realize.

  5. Mussa Ghedi
    | #5

    Mr aselefu,

    The human rights issue in Ethiopia is not restricted to the Somali people in Ogaden only. I believe it is a national issue; whether one is Gondor,tigre, Oromo, Anuwaq or geleb, the tentacles of the inhuman woyane has been inflicting unbelievable athrocity againest the civilian population at large. That is the question which need to be addressed. Just try to remeber that you or anybody else have no right whatsoever to tell and force (unless you are a woyane already) people that abide within the current Ethiopian territory to abandone their abode. It is also worth remebering that human rights abuse knows no boundries and seeks no revenge as well.

  6. keri
    | #6

    Aselefu
    I have seen a lot of stupid woyane cadres by far you ranked the the most moron woyane cadre

    Dawn with tplf messangers

  7. Aselefu
    | #7

    People resort to name calling when they are short of common sense and when an irritating nerver is pressed.
    These days anonymous bloggers are competeing on telling everyone that they are more ethiopian than others.
    If people are too blind to see the motives behind the so called ogaden liberation movement, then I feel sorry for them.
    How do we find the moral highground in coming to the defense of a liberation movement that is Hiding behind civillian population and mudering non-ogadenians indiscriminatly?
    Wh is supporting them and why do these countries support the movement?
    Understand ths issues first before crying wolf.
    Since when does opposing a cecession became supporting the ethiopian gov?

  8. Billisumma
    | #8

    He is right.

    Ogaden is Somali not Ethiopian.

    Why are you Wayane people trying to make them Ethiopians??????

    Dont you understand the OLF and ONLF are fighting Wayane Malas Zanawi because they want us to be ethiopian

  9. Mussa Ghedi
    | #9

    Mr aselefu,
    If your aim were to digress from the human rights issues affecting all Ethiopians, I think you might have succeeded. Sadely, the topic of discussion accoding to you have resorted to the aims of libration movements. I will let you indulge in it in your own way.

  10. Aselefu
    | #10

    What human right issue is Mussa Ghedi talking about? Are we talking about the same so called liberation movement that is bought by egypt, outsourced to Eritrea and creating havoc in Ethiopia? Egyptians are laughing at us Ethiopians. As far as I am concerned Ethiopia is one of the safest places in the world. Terrorists are having a hard time adjusting with it. Ogaden has never been somali, never was and never will. If there is no human right in ethiopia, then what are the millions of Eritrean, somali and Sudannese refugees doing in Ethiopia’s safe haven?

  11. Billisumma
    | #11

    Free Ogadenia!

    When Wayane is gone the Ogaden people will celebrate with Oromia!!!!!

  12. Aselefu
    | #12

    Ogaden is Ethiopian. It will stay Ethiopian. Any cessation is unacceptable. Had the idea been that of its residents is one case, but the issue was instigated by Egypts and outsourced to Eritrea. It is and will be an eyptian proxy war.

Comments are closed.