Ogaden: Urgent Appeal To Stop Ethiopian Army From Tracking Refugees

Ogaden peopleGeneva, February 12, 2014 – The Ethiopian Army and Secret Service continue to track refugees from Ogaden in East African countries, the last incident occurring yesterday. Guri’el Cnrtal Somalia District Commissioner Mr. Isma’il Isse Nur “Taardhuleed” stated yesterday to the VOA Somali Service that he handed over four people from Ogaden to the Ethiopian army in the area, claiming they were members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).

The three men were Muhumed Anni (who was travelling to Somali for medical reasons), Arab Hawawar and Mukhtar Asood. Since 2007 in Ogaden, the Somali region of Ethiopia, there has been serious ongoing human rights violations committed by the Ethiopian Army and its allied Liyu Police militia. The Ethiopian Government signed secret agreements with local administrations in Somalia. Similarly, the Djibouti government’s army and secret services operate freely to tackle refugees from Ogaden. Ethiopian secret services have offices in Djibouti, Hargeisa, Berbera, Bosaso, Galka’yo, Baladwein, Baidabo, Mogadishu and now in Kismayu. During the last couple of years, the refugees who were gathered from these araes were returned forcibly to Ethiopia where they faced killing, rape, disappearances and imprisonment.

On the 26th January 2014, Mr. Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein, ONLF senior officials, were abducted while in Nairobi for the third talk participation between the Ethiopian Government and ONLF. The Kenyan government apprehended two security officers implicated in this abduction.

We call on the Ethiopian government to immediately and without condition, release the abducted and abstain any such future actions. We ask the Ethiopian government to allow the ICRC to visit all the secret prisons in the Ogaden. We call on the Kenyan Government to guarantee the security of the refugees on Kenyan soil. The Somali government and local administrations should respect the international law and nothand over Ogaden refugees to Ethiopian forces.