By Ahmed Abdi
Somalilandsun -The U.S House of Representatives and the government of United Kingdom plus EU Parliament and United Nations have recently stepped up a campaign to help Somalis from Ogaden region to realize that their voice has been heard by the International Community after decades of virtually silent.
As UK’s government recently released a report indicating allegations of abuses by the Liyu Police or “Special Police” ,which London expressed its concerns ,United States House of Representatives and EU Parliament have both sent strong messages to Addis Ababa,which was meant to open the Somali religion of Ogaden to the humanitarian agencies and International media to have free access to avoid further humanitarian crisis.
The U.S Congress issued a message which eventually published on Somalilandsun that reads :
The US House of Representatives has asked Ethiopia to Permit Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations Access to its Somali region of Ogaden. The House informed (d) ETHIOPIA. “That Funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for Ethiopian military and police forces shall not be made available unless the Secretary of State–
(A) certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Ethiopia is implementing policies to–
(i) protect judicial independence; freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion; the right of political opposition parties, civil society organizations, and journalists to operate without harassment or interference; and due process of law; and (ii) permit access to human rights and humanitarian organizations to the Somali region of Ethiopia; and (B) submits a report to the Committees on Appropriations on the types and amounts of United States training and equipment proposed to be provided to the Ethiopian military and police including steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to military or police personnel or units that have violated human rights, and steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia to investigate and prosecute members of the Ethiopian military and police who have been credibly alleged to have violated such rights. “Make Ogaden Accessible US House Urges” Ethiopia
The EU’s head of International Unit Party Socialist democrat ,Anna Gomes,MEP said “Ethiopia is one of the largest humanitarian and development aid receiver yet these donations are used incorrectly and corruptly. Western governmental Organizations and Western Embassies to Addis Ababa ignored the stolen donations and humanitarian aid that are being used as a political tool by the Ethiopian regime, which is contrary to EU rules on the funding”. EU Holds Discussion on Ethiopian Human Rights Crisis in Ogaden and Kality Prison
Ulvskog, MEP,in her part when she was speaking about the steps needed to be taken in order to stop the human rights abuses that is being committed against Ethiopian and Ogaden civilians, she said that the EU could use sanctions or words against Ethiopia or follow up documents and information like the one provided by Ogadeni whistle-blower, Abdullahi Hussein,who smuggled out one-hundred-hours filmed footage, to show the reality in the ground.
The UK government’s website said last week that there have been many reports of mistreatment associated with the Special police,including torture and executions of villagers accused of supporting the Ogade n National Liberation Front.
“The UK government and the UN have pressed the Ethiopian government to articulate a reform plan for the Special police.The Ethiopian government has agreed this is needed,so we will encourage them to take action”,added the report. “Country case study: Ethiopia – justice and treatment in detention”
The Rights Groups such as Human Rights Watch ,Amnesty International and Genocide Watch have accused of Ethiopia that it has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden region.The ONLF accuses Addis Ababa similar charges of egregious human rights abuses against Somali civilians in the region.
John Holmes, The highest UN Official to visit Somali Region of Ogaden in part of its fact finding mission,since the Ethiopian crackdown (2007) called on a further investigation,a plan to wait its implementation until now.
Somali people of Ogaden Region,who has been deplored the international Community’s inaction and silence ,when it comes to human rights violations committed at Ogaden region could now feel that they have been heard as the International Community including U.S,UK,EU and United Nations are ready to take action against those committed war crimes and crimes against humanity yet believe that they can get away with it.