The Committee for the Investigation of Dr. Mohamed Sirad Dolal’s Murder, allowed to produce their report in English. The Committee consists of members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] and the public figures. The committee was founded in reaction to the absence of clear source or responsible agent for this crime. The Committee’s effort to ensure that this murder should not be lost in maze of the many civilians and others members of the Liberation army who die in the hands of the Ethiopian authority or in the hands of the movement.
Dr. Dolal is an Ogadeni intellectual and one of the most prominent leaders of the ONLF organization, and lived In Europe for a long time as an exile. If the Ethiopian authorities killed him and then expose his dead body for public view, as cruel that may sound, there yet no certainty regarding who killed him. It is due this lack of clarity that lead to the formation of this investigative committee. The simply question with which the committee is tasked is “who killed Dr. Dolal?”
Who was Mohamed Siraad Dolal?
Dr. Dolal was someone who was well known around the Horn of Africa region. He was an intellectual, a movement leader and a force of the Ethiopian colonialism over the Ogaden Somalis. Dr. Dolal was born and raised in the Somali inhabited Ogaden region which has been under the colonial rule of Ethiopia. He completed his formative education in his birth place, then earned a B.A degree in Somalia, and finally receives a PhD in England. He spent all his intellectual and political energy in finding ways to liberate his people from the hard colonial subjugation of Ethiopia.
He lived in England and had and left behind his wife and six children. He often exchanges the harsh life of his people for the comfort in the West.
Unfortunately, on January, 17, 2009, Dr. Dolal’s life was cut short by a killing that he did not deserve. The painful reality of his death and his loss is coupled by the complete absence of any sort of fact-finding regarding the true culprit in this heinous and criminal act. Neither the so-called regional government in the Somali Ogaden region of Ethiopia nor the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has set any fact-finding taskforce.
Reasons for Setting the Task Force
Days before his death, Dr. Dolal openly talked about his eminent death. Soon few days after, images of his dead body was circulated in the internet. The question is who killed Dr. Dolal?
On January 17, 2009, at 22:30, Mr. Abdi Elay Mohamed Omar (aka Ina Iley), chief of security for Somali regional state in Ethiopia, called the Ethiopian TV News, Somali program, and broke the news of the death of Dr. Dolal. Although the news was demoralizing and shocking to the million of Somali Ogadens who was dumb founded, it at the same time generated a lot of suspicion:
- The news coming from the enemy camp could be a disinformation campaign
- Why the Ethiopian media is the first to break the news of the death of Dr. Dolal, and why was not covered in the Amharic section of the Ethiopian TV?
- Why was not the news first being heard in the Somali Ogaden region but in Addis Ababa?
- Why hastily the Chief of Security called in about the news before it was checked for reliability?
The confusion surround an Ethiopian government generated disinformation increase when the Chief himself said that the corpse of Dr. Dolal was kept in Godey only to be not true hours after he said so.
There is another twist to the clouds surrounding Dr. Dolal’s death. There is an open enmity and mutual hatred between Dr. Dolal and Admiral Mohamed Omar, current chairman of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). There are reports that about several attempts made at the life of Dr. Dolal by the ONLF wing that is run by the Admiral. The past history of the troubled relationship between Dr. Dolal and Mr. Mohamed Omar warrants our attention.
What we know so Far By contacting some of the key contact that he had, we quickly but carefully delved into his relationships prior to his death and we discovered several important leads. To our surprise, we discovered that there were several prior attempts at his life.
Dr. Doalal was a founding member of the ONLF on august 15, 1984. The Organization gain fame and notoriety after the Garbo Convention in 1991. At the leadership of the late Sheikh Ibrahim Abdala, the organization has attained a metioric growth, who served as its leader between 1991 and 1998. The organization was during this period a democratic organization.
In 1998, Admiral Mohamed Omar assumed the leadership. This change of leadership coincided with the following three developments in the region:
- the Ethio-Eriterian war started in 1998
- Somalia became a country that broke into small clan entities
- The return of millions of Ogaden Somalis to their home region
These three developments combined positively affected the struggle waged by the ONLF for the liberation of the Somali Ogaden region in that they gave new supporters and more military muscle for the cause inside the country. The down side was though that the organization begun employee a lot of people who do nothing substantial for the cause. This resulted in the creation of a crony system where leadership promoted or employed individuals based on tribal favoritism. The casualty of this undemocratic was the bylaws that governed the organization. Meanwhile, the leadership of the organization felt that there was no need for change of the top brass as long as it largely succeeded in its overall objectives.
The average person who supports the cause assumed rightly or wrongly that the Organization exists to promote parochial interest. What is lost in all this is the balance between the role and practice of the bylaws, and the need to have accountable leadership. Because of this imbalance began a lot of throwing blame at each other.
1.0 Conflict and its Aftermath, including less know Secrets
The internal strife within the ONLF started when Chairman Mohamed Omar Osman initiated a move to remove Mohamed Abdi Yasin from his post as the Liaison for the Diaspora Community. Many accused Chairman Omar as practicing tribal animosity towards Mr. Yasin. It was here that Dr. Dolal opposed the Chairman Osman’s move and sided with Mr. Yasin. This internal political strife takes place at a time when Chairman Osman was seeking to extend his term to another one two year term (2002-2004).
Then there was the secret meeting between Abdulahi Ysusf Ahmed, former President of Somalia’s Transition Federal Government and Chairman Mohamed Omar Osaman at an undisclosed venue. It is believed that Mr. Ahmed delivered messaged to and from Meles Zenawi of Ethiopan and Chairman Osman. It was during this meeting the Chairman osman admitted that his ability to do anything was limited due to the Organization’s leadership being dominated a group of individuals who all hail from the same sub clan (Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed).
In 2005, when the internal conflict surfaced to the public, the leadership of the organization was summoned to meet in Eretria. The conveners extended one more year into the term that Osman would remain as the Chairman. There was also the establishment of a preparatory committee for the organizing the next general convention. But after three months, the Chairman tempered with the structure of that committee without consulting anyone of the rest of the leadership. Stalemate ensued which continue through the entire year of 2005 and there was no convention held in that year.
1.1 First Attempt to Murder Dr. Dolal
After realizing that Chairman Osman has tempered with the intent and purpose of organizing a general convention, some of the key leaders, including Dr. Dolal, Salahdin Abdurrahman Macow, Mahmud Abdi Yasin Macalin Diirane), Abdulahi Mukhtar, Aadan Yusuf Taani, Khaalisa Ugaas Mahad, Sulub Ali Abas, Mahamed Wali Abas, and other member, have decided that Dr. Dolal himself travel to the Horn of Africa Region to prepare and identify the logistics of the general convention. The decision was made to mainly capitalize Dr. Dolal’s good relationship with several leaders in the region.
In June 2006, Dr. Dolal travelled to Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea on his way to the Somali Ogaden region to inform the commanders and leader of the organization who were inside the frontline. In August, Dr. Dolar reached his destination, the headquarter of the organization, which incidentally is located inside the region, within the Qorahay region. This coincided at a time with Chairman Osman himself at headquarters for business.
But before Dr. Dolal reached the headquarter of his fighter, Chairman Osman gave his followers specific instructions – to shoot Dr. Dolal if they see him. He also informed them that Dr. Dolal was not relieved of all his responsibilities regarding the organization. Chairman Osman accused Dr. Dolal on a mission to give himself to the Ethiopian authority, and must be neutralized before he fulfills that mission. But some of the soldiers refused to kill their own comrade, especially Dr. Dolal, someone whose commitment to the cause they well knew. Instead, they shared with Dr. Dolal all that instruction given to them by the Chairman.
Dr. Dolal was very clear with his captors, who ironically proved to be his saviors that he does not consider Chairman Osaman as an enemy, despite his intent to liquidate him. Rather he was equivocal that the Tigrigna rulers as the number one enemy of the people. Despite all these, Dr. Dolol never publicly exposed his nemesis’ mischief and murderous intent. But the soldiers in the front have leaked the circumstances under which Dr. Dolal came close to death.
1.2 Conference on Conflict Resolution and the ensuing betrayal
The most shameful story happened when the Demark based conflict resolution, requested by Diirane, Maadeey, Abdulahi Mukhtar and Khalisa Ugas Mahad, turned into a meeting of betray. This was because the meeting was financed by Chairman Osman bank rolled by the Kaah Hawal (Mustaf, Dubai) to the tune of $20,000 to cover the travel and logging expenses. Except Dr. Dolal and Salahudin, all the rest who attended the meeting, comrades of Dr. Dolal needless to say, promised a quick resolution to the conflict. Despite a proposal to establish a court and system of conflict resolution, the very individual who were the company of Dr. Dolal deserted him and sided with the Chairman and his inner circle.
Following after this meeting, Chairman Osman and his group, in particular Mr. Cadani released a decree expropriating Dr. Dolal of all his responsibility for the Organization. The conference that was supposed to resolve all conflicts resulting from the disagreement between DR. Dolal and Chairman osman’s side unfortunately ended up in the unjust expulsion of the former.
1.3 Second Attempt on Dr. Dolal
On September 2008, Dr. Dolal, chairman of ONLF and Salahdin Haji Macow, Vice Chairman, travelled to the Horn of Africa region, including a visit to the Somali ogaden refuges in camps located in Kenya. In particular at Haradhere camp, they met a lot of former fighters who admitted to them that they were chased out of the movement by Chairman Osman. Most of these former fighters are from the Western Nogob region.
During their brief stay at Haradheere, an attempt was made on the life of Dr. Dolal and his associates. At night, they were attacked by men who were armed with pistols and knives. However, both Dr. Dolal and Salahudiin escaped from the attempt. The Kenyan police apprehended some of the criminal who, after interrogation admitted that they were contracted to commit the crime by Chairman Osman and Cadani Hirmoge.
2.0 The Murder of Dr. Dolal, Ina Illay’s claim and the ensuing suspicion
Immediately after the Ethiopian Television announced the death of Dr. Dolal, the Ogaden.com site followed suit. This site, owned and operated by Chairman Osaman’s wing of the ONLF, is not known for publishing news that may negatively impact the moral of the fighter. The public was sad about this particular posting, and ultimately lead to the removal of the news from the website.
Ogaden.com has also carried its own fight against Dr. Dolal by removing all posting and interviews concerning him. Three days into the death of Dr, Dolal, ogaden.com carried an editorial titled, “Is it true that Dr. Dolal is dead?” The same title and the dead body of Dr. Dolal was post on eega.com site. Following these postings, Dr. Dolal’s family member requested that Abdi Mohamed Omar, editor of eega.com to give out the body of the murdered for a proper burial. But he responded that, despite he received the email carrying the news that he published came from America, he does not know who actually sent it to him.
2.1 The West Knew about the Death of Dr. Dolal prior to the Ethiopian TV news Report
We learned, after serious investigation, that residents in the West who support the ONLF wing of Chairman Osman, the death of Dr. Dolal by January 17, 2009 (Saturday). But residents in the Horn of Africa first time heard 10:30 in the evening. One of those who heard the news prior to the release on the Ethiopian news is a non Ogadeni Somali woman, a London resident, who is married to a member of Chairman Osman. There is another man who belongs to Chairman Osman’s wings who admitted to have heard about the killing of Dr. Dolal in the same time that woman did.
2.3 Celebration of Chairman Osam’s Supporters and the unfolding of Xaajo.com
We have learned that hundreds of ONLF supporters felt sad and dismayed after they learned the death of comrade Dr. Dolal. But there were those who unfortunately celebrated and welcome the liquidation of Dr. Dolal. This is a mystery to many of us as to why someone supporting the Ogaden struggle would rejoice at the death of one of the most prominent figures of this cause. He undoubtedly stood for the cause of why the Ogaden Somalis seek independence and freedom from the colonial yoke. This incident had an unexpected negative impact on the whole question of the Ogazanization and what it stands for.
2.4 Why Ethiopia did not Display the Corpse of Dr. Dolal?
When the Ethiopian authorities killed a fighter they often display the corpse in the street of the region’s towns and cities. There are no displays so far of Dr. Dolal’s dead body. The only prove of his death is the pictures seen so far first at the website, eega.com. The local soldier in the Ogaden Somali region conformed that they have not seen a traces of Dr. Dolal dead or alive. Where did then go Dr. Dolald’s body and who has it? These are the unanswered question which may shed significant light on the actual killers of this fighter.
2.6 Misleading of the Ogaden.com
To dispel the growing suspicion surrounding the facts of the killings of Dr. Dolal, Ogaden.com published an English version of a news release alleging the Ethiopian military to have killed Dr. Dolal and other four fighters who were trying to leave the region. The dead body of Dr. Dolal, said the press release, was sent to Kabri Dahar for identification. There was no Somali translation of the same news. Ogaden.com would not respond to a repeated request for more and further explanation and sharing of its knowledge on this matter, but to no avail.
3.0 What are the Facts that Chairman Osama’s Wing Killed Dr. Dolal?
On 01/11.2008, after realizing that Dr. Dolal was leaving the region where he was visiting, the wing of Chairman Osman posted a news release on Ogaden.com: that Dr. Dolal accepted an undetermined amount of money from the Ethiopian Embassy in Kenya in exchange for his service. It went on to say that he met with General Gabre, commander of the Ethiopian force in the Somali Theater. The question of whether this propaganda and character assassination was a prelude to the orchestrated murder of Dr. Dolal is part of the mystery surrounding the ultimate killing of this fighter.
3.1 Dr. Dolal’s founded Suspicion of his Killings.
On November 24, 2008, the wing of Chairman Osam ambushed Dr. Dolal and his fighters and killed four of his fighter. At the same time the Osman wing ambushed the Western Somali liberation Front fighters. This ambushed continued between November 24, 2008 and January 17, 2009. The main military objective was to kill Dr. Dolal. They are even quoted as wanting Dr. Dolal’s head! The Chairman Osman wind also killed Jamal Ali Odol a long time officer of the liberation force (1996-2009) and his two brothers (Makhtal Faarah Odol and Shiine Faarah Odol). The killer of Mr. Jaml, Abdullhi Gab, who hails from the Rer-Haaruun sub clan, is right here with us. As a result, Mr. Jamal’s family, the orphans he left behind, are now at IFFO under harsh living conditions. The same guy who killed and shot Mr. Jamal, is alledgely the same person suspected of pulling the trigger for Dr. Dolal. But the question remains whether the whole wing of Chairman Osam is on the same page and has e
ndorsed the murder of Dr. Dolal.
Dr. Dolal repeatedly articulated in no uncertain terms that who was a “marked man” for Chairman Osman. Accordingly, the last two interviews that Dr. Dolal gave to the VOA and the BBC on 1/14/2009 are indicative of his suspicion about the plans by his enemies. When taken together Mr. Maady’s treat of “let us see whether Dolal will survive long on not,” the plot and its makers are obvious.
3.2 The Coming of Chariman Osman to Eritrea and the death of Dr. Dolal.
Those who killed Dr. Dolal are reported to have hastily returned to Eretria. This return of the perpetrators coincided with the coming of Chairman Osman to Asmara. All we know is that Chairman Osman, when he was visiting the region, met with soldier of the front who hails from the same sub clan as that of Dr. Dolal. At this time chairman Osman dispatched 3 of his soldered to go after Dr. Dolal who was suspected to be in the area of either Qorahay or Godey. One more soldier was sent to Nogob region, where Dr. Dolal was actually training his soldiers at the time. During this time, the Tigrean authority brought 4 helicopter gunships to Kabridahar. The Tigrean soldiers were not chasing the ONLF soldiers but Dr. Dolal and his comrades. The fact that Chairman Osman and his entourage were not attacked by the Ethiopian troops is beyond imagination.
Mahomet Ismail, who now resides in Minneapolis, reportedly said that Dr. Dolal would not and can’t survive in the region for no more than two more weeks. This saying (threat or not) coinciding with the death [killing] of Dr. during the same time is a big mystery surrounding the death of Dr. Dolal. Another related threat is the words of Mr. Abdirahman Maadey who spoke of Dr. Dolal over VOA in threatening language. Moreover, Abdikadir Hirmooge, who was in Denmark, publicly admitted of the Front’s intentions to liquidate Dr. Dolal soon or later.
Facts on who participated the Murder
4.0 Dr. Dolal’s Desperate Cry for Help and the Silence of the Somali people
The late Farah Aydid, Somalia’s warlord, once hastily told the VOA in an interview in 1995, that the only person who can kill him is neither the American Army nor any other inelegance force. It is only his people. Without any action from the Americans who was seeking to kill or capture Aydid, he fall victim of his own people; Aydd was killed by his own cousin. Likewise, Dr. Dolal was killed by members of the very organization he helped found, train and speak for. In hindsight, the Somali people should have listened to the words of Dr. Dolal that he gave to VOA and other media outlet on his death’s pending.
Had the community at large, who supports and financed the ONLF knew about the depth of the conflict within the organization, treated threats exacted against which have been articulated by Dr. Dolal seriously, his life could have been saved. But that did not happen. With his unfortunate death, the Ogaden Somalis walk up to their movement taking a different shape and rout that is inconsistent with the original goals and objects of its founders.
4.1 He Carried the Ambush against Dr. Dolal?
In an unexpected way, a group of fighter from the ONLF wing of Dr. Dolal, who were readying themselves to face off with the Ethiopian soldiers, was ambushed by a group loyal to Chairman Osman. According to Afdayl, who was part of the fighters with Dr. Dolal, this ambush was the last of a serious of ambushes exacted against Dr. Dolal and his fighter for an extended period of time. We have also learned through our extensive investigation that many a times the fighter led by Dr. Dolal had to make tactical retreats in order to face off with their own comrades belonging to the Chairman’s wing. Nonetheless, Dr. Dolal sustained from these initial ambushes light gun wounds, whereas some of his soldiers were killed.
This lead both VOA and BBC Somali broadcasters, as well as the Somali audience, that the ultimate liquidation of Dr. Dolal one of the final results of a sustained effort to eliminate him by Chairman Osman’s ONLF wing.
4.2 The Killing of Dr. Dolal and those who Carried the Mission
At the center of infrastructure put together for the sole objective to eliminate Dr. Dolal are members of high ranking official of the ONLF and some ordinary people who were acting on their tribal passion. We found conclusive facts that Dr. Dolal’s killers have been following him since his visit to Kenya in 2008. The plot to kill him also included the willingness to sacrifice and kill whoever is around him at the time of mission in order to remove any potential evidence or witness to retell this story.
A. As the participation of ordinary folks, it has been found that an employee of the Kaah money wiring, Dubia branch, Mr. Abdala AfWaranle, first contacted Dr. Dolal. At the time of the call, Dr. Dolal was in Nairobi (October 2008), and Mr. AfWaranle reminded Dr. Dolal that his relationship with Chairman Osman is not good, at best does not exist. According to the data from the telephone that Mr. AfWanle used, the high number of calls was with DR. Dolal.
Dr.Dolal’s handlers question the frequency of calls from AfWaranle, where none of the calls were for business. According to members of Western Somali leaders and some ONLF members, at the high of his suspicion, Dr. Dolal affirmed to his handlers that “if I am killed, the plot rests with Mr. AfWaranle.”
B. The ONLF Wing; Following the dispatch of a significant commando style from the ONLF wing headed by Chairman Osman, Dr. Dolal was killed about 10 days after his entry into the Ogaden Somali region. The Chairman reportedly selected 75 soldiers headed by three experienced commandos who all were from the same sub clan as the Chairman:
- Khadar Daarweyn with 25 soldiers to go to Baarguun, Elale and Dhanaan
- Abdirahman Daa’uus with 25 soldiers to go to Gabagao and Qabrihare region
- Mohamed Aman with 25 soldiers of mixed subclans to Nobob
They went after their target under the direct order of Chairman Osman who misled his soldiers by saying that Dr. Dolal was an agent for the Ethiopian side.
C. Responsibilities: The responsibility of the murder of Dr. Dolal rests with (1) Chairman Mohamed Omar Osam, (2) Mohamed Ismail (3) Abdikadir Hormoge Adaani and Abdirahman Sheikh Maaday. Some others who had played a role include Sulub Abdi Ahmed and a niece of Chairman Osman.
D. How he was killed: Dr. Dolal, in the vicinity of Baarguun encountered with a number of villagers and talked to them, including Ahmed Nashaad. They immediately departed company. Following this encounter was a rendezvous that Dr. Dolal had with Dhabuuke Eelabe, who presented to Dr. Dolal as a friend. Upon being receive, within a short time, several marked sharp shooters, headed by Khadar Darwayn, aimed and hit Dr. Dolal in the belly. According to reports, they tried to interrogate him but he refused to answer any of their questions. According to Mohamed Dhagaqool, who was a member of the villagers who had buried Dr. Dolal’s dead body
His final words were “you would be next!” Before they left, Khadar Darwayn shot the wounded Dr. Dolal on the head and emptied his pockets taking some money. According to multiple sources who spoke to us at the village where this took place, the killers of Dr. Dolal were wearing the local police uniform (source: Qorahay residents who were dispatched to gather information from the scene).
4.3 How did the local police find all of Dr. Dolal’s belongings except his cell phone?
According to reliable sources, delegated from the United States, residents of the Somali region in Ethiopia and Kenyan Somalis wanted to trace the killers of Dr. Dolal. But vice Chairman Mohamed Ismael Omar, who at the time was in the United States, sabotaged the effort by suggesting the following:
- Don’t pass the dead body of Dr. Dolal to the Ethiopian authorities for that may lead to unravel other things.
- To allow the villagers to bury the dead body
- To let the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia take the credit of murdering Dr. Dolal
- To pass all of Dr. Dolal’s belongings (at his killing ) to the Ethiopians
- To give the news and pictures of the dead body to eegga.com site
All the above facts are collected first hand from those who are knowledgeable regarding the liquidation of Dr. Dolal.
4. Concluding Remarks of the Committee
The Committee tried to follow the fact and not indicted any one who is not connected to the issue at hand. We interview people with first hand information. In our conclusion we advance the following:
- The murder of Dr. Dolal by his own, despite political difference within the wider movement, is unexpected and unacceptable
- There were about 12 separate attempts on his life
- On November 15, 2009 Dr. Dolal arrived in the region of Somali ogaden
- On January 6, 2009 Chairman Osman arrived in the region
- On January 15, 2009, Dr. talked to the BBC about the plot against him
- Jamal Fara, vice commander and assistant to Dr. Dolal was killed by Abdulahi Gab
- Chairman Osman and some of his key people disputed this accusation
- On January 17, 2009, Dr. Dolal fought back
- Ethiopian, the Somali regional state in particular are not aware of this history and what it actually happened
- The Committee has collected all the fact on how he died, where he is buried and all the other factual incidents surrounding his death
- Officials from Kilil 5 acknowledged that they have received his belongings
- We located member of the ONLF who were instructed to carry the plot
This documentation and finding of the committee is complete with the exception of the witnesses, but avoided their names and the sub clans to which these witnesses belong mainly to not strain more the movement. With this report, the Committee will soon compile recommendations to deal with the murder of Dr. Dolal, and strategies to pass beyond this internecine conflict.
The Committee for the Investigation of Dr. Mohamed Sirad Dolal’s Murder