The history Of Ogadenia

Welcome to
Historical BRIEF OGADEN HISTORY & HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES Prepared, Collated, & Sequenced by Ogaden Youth & Students Union Planning & Research Bureau 2011 BRIEF OGADEN HISTORY & HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ITALY FIRST, THEN THE BRITISH, AND LAST UNDER THE ABYSSINIA OCCUPATION ITALO-ABYSSINIAN TREATY (1897) From the Webbi shebeli the frontier was to proceed in a northeasterly direction, following the line accepted by the Italian Government in 1897, all the territory to the tribes towards the coast shall remain dependent on Italy; all the territory of Ogaden shall remain dependent on Abyssinia (Article IV. So the 180-mile line of 1897 was acknowledged; but, all Ogaden was to remain Abyssinian, and for the particular delimitation of the frontier, but not a geographical line was to be decisive. ITALIAN PROTECTORATE SPHERE BEGINNING OF SECERET TREATIES Agreements signed in between 1884-1889 by the European powers recognized Ogaden as part of Italian protectorate sphere. In the years of 1889-1896 after Italians defeated by Abyssinia during the war of Adwa in 1896, Ogaden came under British protectorate as Italians lost control of Harar and other parts in the region. On May 14, 1897, Britain ceded Ogaden to Abyssinia without consultation or informing the Ogaden People. BRITISH MILITARY ADMINSTRATION IN 1941-1948 In between 1897 throughout 1948, Abyssinian was claiming Ogaden just by name, but had no control of it, except skirmish marauders attacks and few occupied water wells. In 1935-1941, again Ogaden fell under the Italian occupation. After Italian defeat by British Army in 1941, Ogaden fell again under the East African British Military Administration. After the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 the Ogaden was joined to Italian Somaliland and from 1941, when was expelled the Italians from East Africa, up to 1950, practically the whole of the Somaliland were under British administration. . In 1948, the British Military Administration control was come to an end except few part of Haud grassing area. ANGLO-ABYSSINIAN FINAL AGREEMENT Britain signed a final agreement with Abyssinia (Pseudo Ethiopia) to terminate the Military Administration in Ogaden. The Abyssinians (Pseuddo Ethiopia) under the Hailes Selase authority insisted for the agreement to be linked to the previous treaties, such as the Anglo-Abyssinian Treaty on May 14, 1897, and the other agreement in 1948. An original version of the accord of (Article I) stated as follows: AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM I OF GREAT BRITAIN .AND NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE IMPERIAL ETHIOPI1N GOVE.RNMENT RELATING TO CERTAIN MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE WITH- DRAWAL OF BRITISH NIILITARY ADMINISTRATION FROM THE TERRITORIES DESIGNATED AS THE RESERVED AREA AND THE OGADEN London, November 29, 1954 The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Imperial Ethiopian Government; Desiring to terminate the temporary arrangements provided for in Article VII of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement signed at Addis Ababa on December 19, 1944;(1) and Desiring to implement the provisions of the Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty signed at Addis Ababa on May 14, 1897,(2) relating to grazing rights; Have agreed as follows:-- ARTICLE I The full and exclusive sovereignty of Ethiopia over the territories which are set forth in the attached Schedule (hereinafter referred to as the territories "), recognized by the Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1897, is hereby reaffirmed. As from February 28, 1955, British Military Administration for which temporary provision was made under the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of December 19, 1944, shall be withdrawn from the Reserved Area as defined in the Schedule to that Agreement and from that part of the Ogaden which is at present under British Military Administration. The Imperial Ethiopian Government shall, from that date, reassume jurisdiction and administration of, in and over the territories. Done in duplicate at London. This 29th day of November, 1954, Treaty Series No. 2 (1898), C. 8715, in the English language.2 Britain was Signed by EDEN, ANTHONY, and Ethiopia by AKLILOU, L. ABYSSINIA (ETHIOPIA) HAVE DESPATCHED GOVERNORS First time in the Ogaden history, Ethiopian district governors were dispatched to Qabridahare, Qalafu, and Warder on September 23, 1948. In 1954 Anglo-Ethiopian agreement, honoring earlier treaty in 1897 had finished the game.3 Thus, the last portion of the Ogaden territory known as Haud was transferred to Abyssinian. BRIEF EVIDENCES OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS CRIMES COMITTED BY THE SUCCESSIVE ABYSSINIAN REGIMES FROM MENELIK TO MELES In this part, we will describe in contention for the past (beginning), in the mid years, and the current human rights violations in Ogaden. Crime against Ogaden people under Abyssinian successive rulers has been going on 120 years or since 1890 to current. The fact is that Ogaden People are under incredible systematic oppression perpetrated by the Ethiopias armed forces. Starting from Menelik II to present TPLF led regime of Addis Ababa, they all committed crime against Ogaden people and conducted similar policies of silent genocide. However, where grievances are the greatest; people were never given an option to determine their political status. Thus, these dilemmas indicate that Ogaden people have rights to self-determination through unobstructed referendum order to deter full scale genocide like Rwanda. MELEZ SENAWI (1991-Current) CRIME COMMITTED BY THE TPLF LED REGIME In terms of human rights violations, the crime record of the TPLF led regime indicates that crime committed in Ogaden by the Military is the worst and most brutal than crimes of all previous regimes. Most common Crimes committed by the regime are; extrajudicial killing, lynching, strangulation to death, rape, detention without due process, torture of all types, burning villages, looting, commercial blockage, and media and humanitarian aid organizations interdiction. Following dreadful scenes are enough to charge perpetrators for the crimes they committed against Ogaden people: HORREFIC SCENES OF KILLING AND TORTURE Naked denial for the earth scorching in Ogaden, the bloodthirsty man of Ethiopia has said, "We are supposed to have burned villages. I can tell you, not a single village, and as far as I know not a single hut has been burned. We have been accused of dislocating thousands of people from their villages and keeping them in camps. Nobody has come up with a shred of evidence. No body. Mingistu Haile Maryams Military Junta Rule, 1974-1991 Mengistus military regime had committed crimes that many people remember its evilness. To mention some of it are; indiscriminately brutal air-bombardment on villages, poisoning water-wells, displacement of a massive number of population, forced relocation, civilians disappearances, property and livestock confiscation, and many other crimes. During the Ogaden War in 1977-1980s, over 1.5 million civillians fled the advancing Ethiopian and Cuban military in Ogaden. Civilians were deliberately, attacked, killed, looted, and chased to flee to Somalia so that Somalia could be overwhelmed by the Ogaden refugee exodus. There were hundreds of refugee camps in the southern and northern Somalia as the below images photo pictures represent. Emperor Haile Selasies Regime, 1930-1974 During the Haille Sellasses rule, similar patterns of reprisals and pacification acts of violence against peaceful Ogaden civilians were committed. Among these crimes are: Public executions of civilians, traditional leaders killing, jailing in many years, disappearance of civilians, exiled or ran-away for their lives, forced to pay illegal tax (known as Gibir), looted rural peoples livestock, collective punishment, and many other inhumane crimes against Ogaden people. Over 500 civilians were massacred, for instance, in August 1960 when a now-extinct village called Aisha was destroyed to make way for a planned military outpost. The government also used to undertake punitive expeditions against clans suspected of sympathizing with rebel groups like the Nasrullahi. In these expeditions, many civilians died and large numbers of animals were confiscated, depriving nomads of their basic livelihood source. The poisoning of wells dug and managed by Somali nomads was also a common practice in the 1960s. Last but not least, the policy of levying poll taxes on a nomadic society that never benefited from state services hastened the political uprising and subsequent armed struggle. This led to the brief, albeit bloody, conflict of 1963, in which Somalia became involved. Less conspicuous as an abuse of human rights by the Haile Selassie regime was the imprisonment of various traditional leaders and prominent elders. The best known among these leaders was the late freedom fighter, Garaad Makhtal Dahir who spent a decade and half in prison, mostly in solitary confinement. In fact Makhtal, a veteran fighter who had fought valiantly for Ethiopia in the 1930s against Italy, was a jailbird before he defected from Ethiopia in 1963. Later during that same year, he organized the Hodayo Conference where he was elected to lead the ensuing freedom seeking revolt. Another victim of Haile Selassie's security machinery was the late Suldaan Dullane Rafle. Also a seasoned nationalist, Dullane was not only jailed under harsh conditions and without any legal recourse but he was subsequently forced to lead an isolated life under house arrest in an alien land - the Gojjam Region of the Amhara province. A third figure was Sheikh Abdirahman Qassim, a religious scholar and an ardent campaigner for freedom, who languished in detention for too long. He was in fact arrested along with Suldaan Dullane Rafle through a treacherous invitation by Haile Selassie himself. As they had never participated in any violent or 'illegal' activities they had not been aware of Haile Selassie's deceptive machinations. Other victims of human rights abuses under Selassie include Khalif Shaywal who was in custody without trial for about a decade. But by far the most heinous of these excesses was the killing of Olol Dinle, the traditional leader of the Ajuran clan, whom the Ethiopian government had accused of collaborating with the Italians. Olol and 11 other Somali nationalists were held in prison incommunicado for several years, after which they were killed and their bodies dumped in the bush. Also, Suldaan Hussein Hayle, a contemporary of Olol, was banished from the region, spending the rest of his life in southern Somalia. Rass Mokenons Marauders, 1887-1906 Rass Mokenon was the son of the last Emperor of Abyssinia. After the death of Menelik and the following removal of Lij Iyasu from power in 1916, a daughter of Menelik Empress Zauditu was crowned. However, Rass Mokonen was the real leader of the Empire. Rass Mokenon and his troops had garrisons in Harar that he used to conduct attacks against Ogaden civilians. Under the leadership of Rass Mokenon, the Abyssinian marauders had killed thousands of Ogaden civilians. They looted millions of livestock, and young boys and girls that lost their parents taken like slave captives. The armed Abyssinian marauders used to attacks to kill and loot un-armed Ogaden civilians, so that they could be gradually expand their territorial jurisdiction. It is sad, to read notes, articles, and books wrote by individual Europeans who traveled or visited this region in 19th century. One of them was British army journalist named Captain A.B. Cobbold. Cobbold had traveled with Abyssinian expeditionary. He reported a story for troops traveled from Harar to Garlogube who committed a crime that he had seen as a witness astounded him. During the long journey, he observed for a horror crime that Abyssinians were committing against defenseless civilians. Mr. Smith who collected notes and dairies of Captain Cobbold reported: A large Abyssinian expedition has returned from the Ogaden bringing with them as booty thousands of camels and cattle and property of all descriptions. I hear from other sources that they have devastated the people ....Many people are dying of starvation and an epidemic said to be cholera, but which may be "starvation fever" has broken out, and carried off numerous victims daily.... This state of affairs is attributed entirely to the conduct of the Abyssinian soldiers who eat up everything. Emperor Menelik II, 1889-1909 During the Emperor Menelik rule in1889-1909, the Emperor who ruled northern region of Shoa had expanded his territorial control to the south and southeast inhabited by non-Abyssinian ethnic groups. Accordingly, Abyssinian marauders started to attack Ogaden civilians that had no firearms to defend themselves against their enemy. The basis for such unfortunate distress was, because of the British denied access in firearms to the Ogaden Somalis caused Ogaden civilians helpless against the armies of Menelik. Donald Smith who visited Ogaden country felt sad that he said: When we reached Sessabane, on August 1, 1894, I was astonished to find there great herds of fine cattle. I had never seen half of so many cattle together before in Somaliland. The natives were most civil, and anxious to trade with me. You can imagine my chagrin when I heard, a few days afterward that they had been raided by the Abyssinians under Ras Mackonnen, their cattle driven off, the young girls taken as slaves, and the older people killed and mutilated. Throughout in 1890s, Ogaden people were under constant attacks by Abyssinian raiders. Those Abyssinian raids had devastated lives of thousands of families. They used to kill men and women, take young girls as slaves, loot live stocks, and set fire on their homes. In 1892, a confidential British diplomatic dispatch to London read before the Parliament: Sheikh Sufi said, "Ethiopians" are always on one side of us, the English on the other. We (Ogaden tribes) are with the English, and we wish for English rule. We are your children. I say that, as a sheep quivers under the blow of a knife, we, the Ogaden, are quivering under the oppressions of the Abyssinians, who have every year, for the last nine years, visited us and levied large numbers of sheep, goats, horse, camels and taken what they liked from us. We have no guns, are not powerful enough to fight, and must submit. Last season the Abyssinians (drove) off all livestock; 990 men, women and children perished. We are Mullahs and we like to tell the truth. 8 According to New World Encyclopedia, In 1900, an Ethiopian expedition, which had been sent to arrest or kill Mohamed Abdille Hassan, looted a large number of camels of the Mohammed Subeer tribe of Ogaden.9 Conclusion The facts of crimes committed by the successive regimes of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) are clear manifestation for the urgency of the situation in Ogaden. Consequently, to find out a solution and rescue Ogaden people, a humanly action is necessary. In this case, it is a valid point to that of Ogaden people to seek independence from the ruthless and vindictive Abyssinia (Pseudo Ethiopia.) The horror that Ogaden people have experienced or witnessed during the course of successive Abyssinian regimes is enough to characterize the situation. By: Wadani Abdirauf