According to a recent publication by the Guardian, the British government has plans to fund and train an Ethiopian paramilitary group in the Ogaden and subsidize them with millions of Pounds. Renowned international human rights groups such as: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have attested that the Ethiopian military and the Liyuu Police, since 2007 have been responsible and notorious for heinous crimes against humanity, such as: rape, torture, summary executions, looting, and burning of entire villages in the Ogaden.

The Liyuu Police (Amharic for Special Police) has been sole established by the Ethiopian military in 2007 to execute a campaign of collective punishment against the civilian population of Ogaden after an ONLF attack on a Chinese run oil filed in the region. Tens of Thousands of people have fallen victim to the ruthless and senseless systematic campaign of terror. Resolve Ogaden Coalition has written extensively about the dire political and humanitarian crisis taking place in the Ogaden and the systematic crimes against humanity and the genocidal massacres being waged against the civilian population.

The Liyuu-Special Police is particularly similar to the Janjaweed militia of Darfur who has been continuously condemned by the British Government and the international community at large. This Liyuu Police, paramilitary militia has been established to terrorize and intimidate the civilian population of Ogaden, and is responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The displacements of hundreds of thousands of people from the Ogaden are evident today in the Dadaab refugee camps in Northern Kenya. The Burning of entire villages by the Ethiopian government and the Liyuu police are apparent in the satellite images produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008-2009. In addition, we have documented thousands of women in the refugee camps in Northern Kenya who claim systematic rape as widespread and used as a weapon against the people of Ogaden. We have produced records of others who claim, humanitarian organizations and humanitarian goods are being used politically and as a means to suppress support for the rebels whilst the worst humanitarian crisis in the world was taking place in the Ogaden in 2010-2011.

The Liyuu-Special Police created and sponsored by the Ethiopian military have exacerbated the instability and human rights violations in the region; they have incited inner clan violence causing the deaths and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, they are also well-known for looting, kidnapping, burning villages, killing livestock, and using rape as a systematic weapon.

Thus, Resolve Ogaden Coalition strongly urges the British government immediately halt all financial, military and political support for the Liyuu Police and the Ethiopian regime. The crimes against humanity taking place in the Ogaden is widely recorded, the current crisis taking place in this region is one of the worst in the world. As a result, the British government ought to take a more productive role in order to bring peace and stability to this region. We appeal to the British government to pressure the Ethiopian regime to stop the atrocities, genocidal massacres and this campaign of collective punishment waged against the poor civilian population of Ogaden. We further appeal to the British Government to pressure both the Ethiopian regime and the Ogaden National Liberation Front to come to negations and continue their stalled peace talks in order for this political and humanitarian crisis to successfully come to end.


Resolve Ogaden Coalition is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the conflict in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia through the promotion of peace, human rights, democracy, and social and economic development; through advocacy and education; and through a comprehensive peace agreement leading to a referendum on the Ogaden peoples’ right to self-determination.


Abdul Ali

External Affairs

Resolve Ogaden Coalition