Published On: Sat, Jan 12th, 2013

Ethiopian “Liyuu-Special Police” and the Crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden


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

Displaying 65 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. 3hunna says:

    Ogaden seem to be causing problems for every one

  2. Allemagan says:

    Will Buuxiye say something about the dire situation of our people in Ethiopian occupied Somali territories or does he only reserve his hate and venom for fellow Somalis?

    No surprise here. For separatists, it not about nation and nationality but always about whose tribal camel well is it anyway!. How petty and pathetic!

    • Adan says:

      It sickens me inside as a Somalilander to read comments like what Buuxiye is saying here, but trust me brother that sickness is only killing him and not me and many others. I wanna make clear to any Daarood that comes to this site that there are Isaaqs that do not hate them, we are all Somalis infact Isaaq and Daarood are Bini haashim family, we share close history. What happened during Sayid Bare was a civil war and its over. Ogaden is the region inhabited by all Somalis and we don't mind and cannot change that name.

  3. Abid says:

    Hey @Allemagan

    When they say "Ogaden" they are actually talking about the whole region. Ogaden is the official name of the region according to the former western colonies, so when they're are using that name it is NOT because of the clan, but the NAME of the region. The region has many names but according to the Westerners it's called the Ogaden region… make your research before commenting Sherlock.

    Btw check this map in case you still don't know (or want to know).

    I personally believe this name should be changed as it is causing more problems within the somali community. But somalis are hard to satisfy… so focus on the real problems and the root cause which is not a clan problem but a colony in East Africa.

    The reason ONLF is using the Ogaden name is because of the region name and not the clan. They would love to call it "Western Somalia" to attract more somalis, but as you know the UN and the rest of the world claim the land belongs to Ethiopia, and calling it Western Somalia will make them sanction Somalia for fighting a border war. That has been forbidden since the 80s, so this O' thing is just a tactical war.

  4. mohamed cheers says:

    What about the Somaliland-Ethiopian Borderline Hawd Reserved free zone Regional
    Provinces? These Independent free zones habitats have also seen the worst persections
    and prosecutions and both govts of Hargeisa-Addis Ababa are fully aware of the dire
    atrocities committed by the Liyuu Police supported by the k/5aad state powers, specially
    the non-ogaden clanships? For the general goodness sake and well beings, the Author
    should have also included the other non-resolve Ogaden Coalition? How petty and pathetic!.
    It's also worth mentioning that the ONLF-AIAI, Liyuu Police,Somali Western State leaders,
    NFD Absame leaders, are onething to together behind all the Horn-East African political
    proxity polarized warlordism. Ethiopia,Kenya,Somalia,Djibouti and Somaliland are all effected
    by these double standard criminologies of the Ogaden-Absame mainstream of the Darodism
    militant political ambitions against all other Somalians egoism combined? Another vulnerable
    factor is Puntland of the MJ'tenia which equally has the same militancy or dormancy characteristics.
    Alas God is great and jesus is coming to fix you all greedy dormancies.

  5. Buuxiye says:

    Somalia-Federal-Republic population is split between Dadaab(kenyan) and Dollo Ado(Ethiopia).

    Most rapes of Federal- Refugees in Dadaab is committed by the Ogadeen Clan from the NFD Area.
    Most rapes of Federal- Refugees in Dollo Ado is committed by the Ogadeen Clan from Kilil Area.

    I am not going to enter into unproductive debate over how Ethiopia and Kenya happen to hold on to Somali regions which the AU-Charter full supports. Our priority is getting recognition for the 18-May-1991 Independence.

    • jacfar says:

      NO recognition mate whether 18 May or 12 sep…………………….see your doctor it looks your slipping your medication.

      • Buuxiye says:

        :) You have no power to stop this inevitable course of action, just like you find yourself a powerless collection of fragmented federations occupied by Foreigners!

        • jacfar says:

          You haven't got the massege yet, not whether i have power to stop or not, but the world community not ready now or the future to give ONE clan FAKE independent country it's not gone happen mate.

          Take your medication also ask your doctor to give heavy dosage.

  6. misslovely says:

    i couldn't care less about what happens to daarood any more we just regret the war in 77 this group of people make me sick

    • Abid says:

      You are sick and pathetic…. this has nothing to do with darood or any other clans. This is a crime against somalis, and the region actually belongs to all somalis. The Liyu Police consist of many clans and kill both ogadens and non-ogadens as well… they are created by the Ethiopian government. Wake up from the dream…

  7. Liyuu Police says:

    Ogadenia is doing great my advice is not to you worry about us.

    uniting Jigjiga-Garowe-Garisa-Kismayu is our newly political strategy.

    haters is going to hate but Darood run Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. sorry I don't recognize Somaliland.

    I always felt bad for what siyaad bare did to isaaq but I guess they will never they will never move on, and we don't care. their hate for powerful Darood is the only reason they're having identical crises,cheers he was just trying to protect his country,

  8. Son of Somaliland says:

    The writers of this article seems to imply that only the Ogaden clan is suffering under the liyu police of kilil five.

    Every Somali who happen to call zone five of Ethiopia their home, are witnessing this brutalities .Instead of speaking for one particular group, please lets unity and speak for Somalis who happen to live under this regime.

    • abdiog says:

      when they say Ogaden they don't mean the Qabil, they mean the Region which is known as Ogaden

      • Son of Somaliland says:

        The region is not Ogaden it is called western Somali. Only the Ogaden clan call it ogaden.Ogaden is only the part of western Somali that Ogaden clan live NOT the whole region.

        • I Jama says:

          Ethiopians are using Somalis to hate on the world just like the Kenyans and Ugandans etc. Many are poor and economically challenged. Thus, blame their condition on the rest of the world but Somalis are so easily manipulated and have fallen for their manipulation and have helped their way ward cause because they too have an issue with the same. This is the situation and problem but what next. What next is to allow balkaniazation of the horn to defeat hateful nation of the world like Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan etc to be as small as djibouti to allow for better fairness for all and better spread of power along tribal african lines which will give more loyalty to oneself over manipulating larger governments such as those exist today. This is what will happen eventually

        • abdi says:

          if u look at any world map, the entire region is known as Ogaden, although we all wish for this region to be called West Somali, the fact is, it is not, and u cannot simply deny facts because you choose to ignore them.

          • mohamed cheers says:

            Demographs/Geographs have proved otherwise since that wrong map was exploited
            by certain OG thugs of that Colonial ERA.

  9. abdi says:

    Ogaden is the name of the region, not just the name of the people, we are Somali and this article is referring the Ogaden as the geographical name not the clan.

  10. Allemagan says:

    @ Abid and Shamzadin

    I thank you both for your comments. I know my history and that the boundary of Somalia should be what is shown in this link
    Haile Salassie was not a genius who needed to give a name to a region. Somalis divide themselves and squabble over everything and will do so until the end of time.

    For instance see Buuxiye's comment which actually says I don't care about any genocide committed against other Somalis as long as I can establish a non-viable country in northern Somalia solely on the basis of tribal sentiment. On the other side of the coin, you have Liyuu Police's comment who is claiming that all Somali territories including the free and occupied portions belongs to his clan.

    If the statements from the above two gentlemen prove anything, they prove that nomadic societies are doomed as they can not understand the concept of a nation and a country. In fact, the only comment that they will respond to is the one that stirs their tribal sensibilities.

    • mohamed cheers says:

      Allemagan bro be fair in your judgement. Think of what gentleman Buuxiye writes about a whole
      big picture political analyizes without taking narrow out of context lengthpath as compared to the other
      two mates isolated statements. I know you are always not only anti-Somaliland Khaatumo
      dissident but a hard nutshell full of prejudice. I see Buuxiye as genius expert more than all the bloggers
      combined using the Sldpress. But then Allemagan and his cohorts have their reckoning doomsday!

  11. tellmetruth says:

    Let's forget about the name of the region for a second, and focus more on the people who are being killed and raped simply because they are Somalis who wish to live free. Also so think about the fact, that the Ethiopian Government is so good at manipulating Somalis, that they have convinced and hired Somalis to kill and rape other Somalis. Last but not least let's not over look, how the British are willing to throw money at Ethiopia, so they can kill and rape more Somalis. We the Somali people live in shark infested waters. Lets stop this futile zero sum game and actually focus our energy on greater things.

    Now to those of you, who would make disgusting, sickening comments. It's one thing to be pro-SomaliLand Independence, but a totally different thing to find joy in the deaths of innocent Somalis. Also to anyone who thinks it's Daroods only who are facing these hardships, you are deceiving your self and not worth much as a human being. If the deaths of innocent people. Who share blood, culture and religion with you, does not move you emotionally then there is something wrong with you. You are broken a person, and my to advice you to seek some help.

    Remember the things we say and do. We will one day be held accountable for, do not let your tribal mindset cost you peace and paradise in the here after.

    May Allah help us rid ourselves of this sickening tribal mind set.
    May Allah helps us over come our enemies near and far.
    May Allah helps one day realise the beaute of a united nation.
    May Allah grant paradise to all those who have died a Unjust Death.
    May Allah help us as a people to attain Love, Unity, and Prosperity.


  12. Halima says:

    I am Issaq from the Hawd region and my family too lives in the "Ogaden" region. Issaq people are massacred and are second class citizens in that region. The Liyuu police works to rape and eradicate issaq people from the hawd. Worst part the Liyuu Police are SOMALIS killing SOMALIS. I guess Ogaden people will do anything for the Habeshas.

    • abdi says:

      wallalo, r u not aware of what the liyuu police are doing to their own Ogaden peoples. everyday, entire reer are being wiped out because they choose not to fight for the liyuu police and the same thing is happening to the isaaq clan, so please dont generalize the entire ogaden tribe.

    • Kayse says:

      Liyu Police are not Ogaden group, they are militia used by Addis Ababa to massacre all Somalis in that region. They do worse things to Ogadens than Isaaq…they burnt down entire villages….

    • says:

      Halima I'm from the Ogaden and I agree with you that Liyu police are the biggest threat to our people thats why I support ONLF. ONLF has never targeted innocent civilians because they are Isaaq liyu police on the other hand are on a mission to exterminate non ogaden somalis in the region we must unite against them.

      Free Ogaden! long live ONLF

  13. abdifatah says:

    It is unfortunate that the British government would even think about funding the liyu militia. Thank you SomalilandPress for advocating for the innocent people in the Ogaden

  14. Awdal boy says:

    Somaliland. Needs to Provide support and assistance for Dir people in the South Somalia as a matter of urgent before they are disappeared according to the current policy of Ogaden individuals who are seving for Kenyan interests in Kismayo..

    • tellmetruth says:

      See the problem with that is some Isaaqs don't even consider themselves DIR. By the way what do you mean by in the south, are you trying to enter the affairs of Somalia. Because to do that you will have to renounce separatism.

      • None says:

        this dude is desperate imposer, doesn't worth responding.

      • mohamed cheers says:

        Tellmetruth bro all Somalis are DIR & Darod, by both lineage and politics combined as two
        big picture camps. Even IRIR Samaale (Hawiye) is part of DIR. Think of the many Isaaq tribes of
        the South DIR(SSNM). In fact, census of the South Somalia Isaaqs could be more in numbers than the Harti landers of the North Somaliland? Let us not forget the IRIR Samaale Hawiye are also blood
        related to the Isaaqs.

    • abdul says:

      Awdal boy .

      I suggest you first free from yourself idor, there are no big numer dir in Jubbaland maybe 4%.secondly, somaliland they can't even collect their GARBAGES from the streets let alone help anyone.

  15. Irir Samaale says:

    Have people ever stopped to wonder who most of these Liyuu-Special Police and their commander or may i say former commander in chief Mr Iley were before ? well surprise surprise former ONLF fighters confusing isn't it.

    Listen the ONLF will never get rid of this regime as long its a mainly a OG movement maybe hurt it bad but never that K.O punch.

    Its best for the OG's to change their name and reinstated the WSLF so to attract the rest of the 60+% of Somaligalbeed or even keep the name but as in a battalion within the WSLF because its nearly turning 30 with hardly anything to show for which can only mean time is starting to be on the TPLF side because people don't like to suffer without seeing the benefit in return.

    For the last 5 years there's been defections from the ONLF to Aids Ababa starting from Salaheedin Abdurahman to now Abdinur Abdulaye Farah i know people are gonna come up with excuses but one things for sure this is hurting the moral of the troops that are on the frontline and how many more defections can ONLF take before the camel breaks its back.

    Also i'am surprised that a movement like the ONLF that started in the early 80's its troop numbers are only somewhere in between 2 to 3000 instead of a minimum of 10000 strong at this stage ?

    • mohamed cheers says:

      IRIR Samaale bro for the first time. I see you talking commonsense. Bravo mohahahaha

        • kfc says:

          I had respect for you Irir but your just another hawiye who is sucking up to the isaaqs.I live in MN and wallahi only like 20ppl turned out so stop hating on my ogaden brothers.You do know that the natural resources of the Ogaden would have been exploited years ago if it wasnt for ONLF. You say you are a unionist but just look at your name.

          • Irir Samaale says:

            I would like nothing more than the ONLF to disprove me but sadly its not these ONLF after nearly
            30 years are still in first gear its time for an new strategy that's all. We cant forever be stuck in Wonderland bro day dreaming about the day Somaligalbeed will be freed by ONLF.

            ONLF is slowly starting to lose its support in the region 10's of thousands of Somalis have died sins they took up arms and we're no nearer today then we were yesterday i know it you also deep down know it its just that i've got the balls to speak out this is not Stalin a debate is always healthy.

            About Samaale to me it represents every Somalis except the Bantus no disrespect if ones reading this

          • Tani says:

            ONLF is repected rebel fightres and well know all around the world fighting for their land. not like isaqs+dir or samales live in reserve area. ethiopia respects more ONLF than Hassan NGO. all somalis are not samale, samales are 34% somali population.

  16. amal says:

    I think if the Somali people were not in the current situation by now we could have conquered or overpower Ethiopia. Maybe habashi put a spell on us after they saw how powerful Somalis were in 1977. Somehow our doom and turmoil started from there.

    Now they are using Somalis against Somalis in the occupied but these Somalis (liyu police) who is killing and raping their own people with Ethiopian uniform in the hawd and elsewhere in Somaligalbeed should be ashamed. I believe those affected the most from these brutal so-called special police are the Isaaq community of hawd and the Ogaden of ONLF. Somalis of that region should forget tribalism and have one voice against the human violation being committed against them daily.

  17. Kayse says:

    Separatists are still in grieving mood and will not see anything else but "Reer Hamar"; "Siad Bare" and "Darood".

    They will not see the Liyu Police thugs and their immediate threat nor the occupation. They too busy crying.

  18. hodan says:

    To all Isaaq haters
    I don't know how to make you understand and see Isaaq people and their triumghs. Isaaq had fight with Barre regime . And they kicked hiss but stoped to get tribal revenge and they moved long ago or 2o yrs and more . they are peaceful and respected poeple . these poeple who are claiming that they didn't grow are themselves are morons who cann't live with any other ftibe peacefuly. They are not even capable to copy what Isaaqs are doing in their country. Only Puntland is trying but all these comments are showing how most somali poeple are stupid and ignorant.

    • Sahra says:

      Hate reside with you. so you need to look deep and search your soul.because you going to have a hard time finding and you've the nerve coming here and preaching us. that's what I call audacity another thing nacalat baa ku taal nacaska iyo nacata iska caaya qabiil leh muumin iyo munnafiq yes we know very well who they're and it;s not the people you're accusing wrong doing.

    • Sandheere says:

      You know what, there is no point in reasoning with folks who are hell bent on hating Ogaden people. Haters are always gonna hate, so I say to Isaaq and their ilk, to hell with ya!. We are Ethiopians and we got our regions under our control. Long live President – CMC- And job well done, Liyuu!.

  19. jamalx says:

    Asc All,

    i gues most of you are from so called somali landers whom are still day dreaming, well atleast to my view.
    i am somali who loves to see all somalis come under one shelter one day inshallah. you could aplly the same case to me and say iam day dreaming as well. what somali landers achieved is good, but what they could achieve with unity is far greater. Somalis are one regardless of the ambitions of some, even if every region becomes small state like Djabouti there will be a time when a new generation of forward thinker will borne and reshape the entire horn of Africa and stablish Greater Somalia, one which our forefathers have dreamed on but unfortunately couldnt deliver for whatever reason. i also admire the resiliance of Ogaden freedom fighters as they attempt to liberate Ogadenia from colonizations.

  20. nuur says:

    correct.. with no help.

  21. abdi says:

    Irir, Iley was never a memeber of the Ogaden National Liberation Front. Liyu police consists of underage boys who are given guns by the government to terrorize non ogaden clans ONLF has nothing to do with them.

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