Published On: Wed, Sep 26th, 2012

ETHIOPIA: A wave of atrocities against villages in Ogaden

ADDIS ABABA – “No proper evidence has reached the world until now” The task force that arrested and wounded the Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson in Ethiopia are now accused of widespread abuses in the Ogaden province.

Swedish Television’s Africa correspondent Johan Ripås has become privy to further documentation, smuggled out of Ethiopia. The video evidence shows that whole villages have been emptied of inhabitants through executions and mass flight from terror.

–These atrocities are well known in Ogaden. But no proper evidence has reached the world until now, says Abdullahi Hussein, a defected Ethiopian civil servant who smuggled out the material.

The task force accused of these atrocities is called the Liyu Police or Special Police. The unit was formed three years ago to combat the separatist rebel group ONLF. According to information obtained by Swedish Television, the Liyu Police has since spread terror in the Ogaden province by mass executions of civilians.

–They have deliberately recruited unemployed youths from the streets to the Liyu Police. These have then been drilled in carrying out executions, says Abdullahi Hussein.

On May 16th 2010 ONLF reportedly carried out a major attack against a Liyu Polices camp in southern Ogaden. Retaliation followed the next day. Early on the morning of May 17th the Liyu Police came to the village of Malqaqa in the same region. The locals were accused of having helped ONLF, and the task force opened fire on the unarmed villagers.

Swedish Television has met an eye witness to the event. Bashir Ali managed to escape the bullets.

–They split up into smaller groups, advanced methodically and gunned down everybody in sight. I counted 73 dead, says Bashir Ali.

The Liyu Police are headed by the president of the Ogaden region, Abdi Muhammed Omar. In the video footage that was smuggled out you can see the president visit the neighbouring village of Malqaqa. Several representatives of the village talk to the president and thank him for coming. An elderly man suddenly grabs the microphone and speaks his mind about the attack on his village.

–Since the Liyu Police came, lots of people in our villages Galaashe and Malqaqa have been murdered. People have fled and many are missing. Old people as well as young.

Abdullahi Hussein was present on this occasion and can be seen next to the president in the video footage.

–The old man was immediately arrested by the Liyu Police, on the orders of the president. I don’t know what happened to him. I just saw how they led him away.

Abdullahi Hussein says, that at least one hundred people were executed in the village of Malqaqa during a couple of days in May 2010. There were probably many more. On the video footage that was smuggled out you can see that the houses in Malqaqa now stands empty and abandoned.

You can also hear members of the Liyu Police desecrate a civilian they have just killed. They stomp on his head and poke his face with a stick.

–They gathered several people in the monastery of Malqaqa and stoned them to death, says Bashir Ali who escaped the attack.

The human rights organization Human Rights Watch has recently received witness accounts of similar events.

–We have evidence that three villages were attacked by the Liyu Police in March 2012. Many men were executed, and several men were arrested and detained arbitrarily, says Laetitia Bader of Human Rights Watch.

Abdullahi Hussein now lives in exile under constant death threats after having smuggled the evidence out of Ethiopia.

–The world must know. I did what every person would have done after seeing what I have seen, says Abdullahi Hussein.

By Johan Ripås

SVT

September 26, 2012

Displaying 7 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. HAWIYE WARRIOR says:

    Ethiopia as we the world knows it as country will sees to exist in 2015 its crumbling right now as we speak people better get their priority's right and join the inevitable winning side. History shows time and a time again dictators always lose against its people because there's no way they can outlive them giving the people vital time on their side get it time. The reason for the divorce is because the marriage was a sham in the first place forced by the Amharans followed by the Tigrayans. With Oromos being the largest tribe surely you would of thought they would of been in charge after the Amharans instead of one of the smalles tribe the tigrayans. That's because the Oromos are not warrior enough when it comes to dealing with the Somalis Amharans or Tigrayans. Their was a leaked report from the Ethiopian elites that the biggest threat to their power is not even there so called "arch enemy Eritrea" but drum roll please surprise the Somali people.

  2. HAWIYE WARRIOR says:

    Read this Somaliland included us Hawiye will still be the biggest clan joined by our D&M brothers so stop with this scaremongering. The only people that will lose the most in this is the Isaaq's monopoly of power reason their fighting tooth and nail for them to stay states quo.

    • @Buuxiye says:

      In the worst case scenario Hawiye will commit political suicide to attempt to foster animosity against Somalilanders. We will work with any of your groups that are willing to concede to our ultimate objective. We hope it is Hawiye that makes the necessary compromise to conclude the failed 1960 arrangement.

      D&M have no loyalty to Hawiye who were the principle executioners of the D&M Genocides of the 1990s and it was hawiye who blockaded FOOD aid reaching the thousands of D&M who starved to death… befriend who you like however beware of Long-term consequences while opting for short-term insignificant stances.

      Sheikh Hassan will prefer longer term positive relations instead of alienating the Somaliland government and population. The Economic benefit of good relations are astronomical conversely negative relationship with Somaliland is more detrimental to Hawiye in the longer term.

      We import a large quantity of Fresh produce from D&M while we have an alternative supplier in Ethiopia as this trade link is worth hundreds of millions of Dollars so i disagree with your assumed relationship with D&M because Money is a stronger bond than political affiliations. Like wise we 0.5 and Biyomaal relations are slowly growing.

      Population breakdown in a 2-state reunion

      Hawiye – 25%
      Isaaq – 23%
      D&M – 20%
      Darood – 20%
      Dir – 7%
      Others – 5%

      In a Reunion the population distribution levels the playing field even though the above figures are rough it does not require a Mathematical genius to begin to appreciate the difference between.

      Mediocre – 25%
      &
      Supreme – 40%

      Hawiye are disadvantaged in an ELECTION system that occurs during a REUNION as opposed to a 2-STATE dissolution that assures them indefinite Superiority within Somalia-Italia. In addition in a 2-STATE Dissolution Koonfur can once and for all concentrate on state building instead indulging in rhetoric and insignificant innuendo.

      Even when we were experiencing a drought we raised funds and sent your starving AID, you cannot afford our animosity while Kenya holds a Darood objective and Ethiopia too holds a Darood objective. We are have survived 21years years and a decayed prior from War, droughts, genocide and political assassinations of every type and we are stronger then ever… you cannot claim the same knowing your fragile historic records since 1991.

      We are prepared for any eventuality can you claim the same?

      Sheikh Hassan will avoid unnecessary embarrassment and choose a path that respects the will and desire of the majority of Somaliland without intervention in our internal affairs. All those who so wish to Move to Koonfur will have a free pass to choose a Koonfurian nationality and surrender all claims in Somaliland.

      2-STATE Kala Guur will happen 2013 :0 insha'allah :) peacefully.

  3. absame says:

    viva abdi m omar he has brought our lost pride and honour, ogaddn wil rise again and librate his land from isaq dabacayun and ubo

  4. Moh'ed Hared says:

    Naga aammu dhaandhaan yahaw. Issaaqaa ii kaa dhaama saa waa Soomaali e intaan adigoo inader kay ah oo Ethiopian ah raaci lahaa. Long live Somaliland! Long live ONLF!

  5. adi says:

    makes you wonder….who knows what horrible things are happening in the world and we have no idea about the. we just live with the illusion that we are civilized.

  6. dana says:

    I'm sure this is not the only case of such atrocities. God knows what's going on over there.

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