Will Makhtal be brought to Fair Trial under Butcher of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi? – ESAC

March 30th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

The evidence of war crimes in Somali Region of Ethiopia is a challenge to universal justice: will Ethiopian official perpetrators ever stand trial as the Sudanese authorities have been brought to book? (more…)

The evidence of war crimes in Somali Region of Ethiopia is a challenge to universal justice: will Ethiopian official perpetrators ever stand trial as the Sudanese authorities have been brought to book?

To depict the general condition of human rights abuses of Somali Region will give us a glaring description of the miserable condition that the innocent young Ethiopian, Makhtal is incarcerated.

The double standard of Western World is imminent in Horn of Africa. Meles was and is still killing the innocent Somalis, Oromos, Afars, Gambelas and Amharas, but the blind eyes of Western countries is sadly alarming in the magnitude of human rights violation in Ethiopia.

Evidence of the scale of Ethiopia’s war crimes in its decade’s onslaught on Somali region of Ethiopia is becoming unanswerable. Satellites and other evidences investigating allegations against Ethiopian forces in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, released by human rights organizations, include important new accounts of the flagrant breaches of the laws of war that marked the 17 years campaign – now estimated to have left at least thousands of Ethiopian in Somali Region in desperate situation, mostly civilians, elders and women.

The satellite films provide compelling testimony of Ethiopia’s use of Somali of Ethiopian origin as human shields; the targeting of wells, clinics and medical workers, the herder men under the pretext of fighting the rebel of Ogaden National Liberation Front including with shelling bombs; and attacks on civilians, women raping and elders lynching – sometimes waving white flag while crying for lives – from hunter-killer drones whose targeting systems are so powerful they can identify the color of Woyane thug’s clothes. These are the testimony of refugees documented by Human Right Watch; those refugees fleeing the horror of Woyane trigger happy soldiers are in the refugee camps of Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia.

Naturally, the Ethiopian’s spokesperson insists to Western Media that they make every effort to avoid killing civilians and denies using human shields or targeting medical workers in Somali Region. By banning journalists from entering Somali Region of Ethiopia during its punitive devastation of the “Operation Clean up of Rebel”, the Ethiopian Federal government avoided independent investigations of the stream of war crimes accusations while the attack was going on. Currently, the Woyane soldiers are still killing the innocent and defenseless civilians.

Last year, the Ethiopian Soldiers have acknowledged that a group of Ethiopian soldiers had admitted intentionally shooting dead an unarmed Ethiopian mother and her two children in Somali region simply they were suspected to be part of ONLF supporters, as well as an elderly Ethiopian Somali men, in Somali Region in January 2008. As one explained: “The lives of Ethiopian Somali, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our Woyane soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way”.

The case of Makhtal – an Ethiopian Somali linked to ONLF- has hit lately the Western Media particularly Canada. Bashir Makhtal lived in Toronto’s Riverdale neighborhood. He became a Canadian citizen in 1994. He worked as a senior programmer for two of Canada’s biggest banks, Bank of Montreal and CIBC. From 2002 until December 2006 Makhtal conducted business outside Canada, in countries such as Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates.

On December 31st, 2006, Kenyan authorities detained Bashir Makhtal while he was attempting to cross the Kenya border from Somalia. Kenya then proceeded to illegally render him to Ethiopia under extraordinary rendition laws on January 20th, 2007 and he continues to be held there to this day.

We, Ethiopian Somali Advocacy of Human Rights, are concerned citizens who are absolutely convinced that Bashir Makhtal will never receive a fair trial in Ethiopia due to that country’s horrendous human rights record. We demand that Western World particularly Canadian government forcefully intervene in this case and bring Bashir Makhtal home. Mr. Makhtal has already been illegally detained for 2 years and two months.calling for an international inquiry into war crimes in Ethiopia and freeing thousand innocent languishing in the jail of Woyane regime, Cuatanamo of Ethiopia. In the case of Ethiopia, the organization cited the siege of Somali Region as a form of collective punishment; the use of artillery and booms in densely populated civilian areas; the shooting of civilians holding white flags; attacks on civilian targets; and “wanton destruction of civilian property”.

Last years Human Rights Watch wrote to European Union foreign ministers

Human Rights Organizations and Amnesty International have echoed that charge, particularly in relation to the indiscriminate rocketing of towns such as, an exhaustive investigation by Human Rights Watch has found evidence, for example, of Woyane using human shields in the clearly defined legal sense of coercion to protect civilians in combat. There is of course no chance that the UN Security Council will authorize the kind of International Criminal Court war crimes indictment now faced by Sudan’s leaders over Darfur. Any such move would certainly be vetoed by the US and its allies.

With such powerful evidence of violations of the rules of war emerging from the killing of innocent in Somali Region is the developing system of international accountability for war crimes only going to apply to the west’s enemies – or can the western powers and their closest allies also be brought to book, or the innocent Makhtal will see the light of the day from “Cuatanamo of Ethiopia”?

Yours sincerely,



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