The Pain of the Ogaden Somali People


“Every night, they took all of us girls to [interrogations]. They would separate us and beat us. The second time they took me, they raped me… All three of the men raped me, consecutively”.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) report in Collective Punishment, along with 15 other female students, this innocent 17 year-old Ogaden girl, was held captive for three months in a “dark hole in the ground” and raped 13 times. This is just one of countless accounts of abuse, from within the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, where it is widely reported criminal acts like these are perpetrated by the Ethiopian military and paramilitary forces on a daily basis. Untold atrocities like this; past and present are awaiting investigation, amid what is a much-ignored, little known conflict in the Horn of Africa.

Personal reflections on the traits of a new generation of Ethiopians

By Tesfa Mekuria

Alemu Tafesse recently published a highly profound article – The Ethiopian Muslim Civil Rights Movement: Implications for Democracy in Ethiopia. In it, he argued that the 14-month old Muslim civil rights movement has had remarkable implications for the democratic transformation of that country. He specifically argued that by forcing the government to completely throw away its democratic garb; by introducing into modern Ethiopia an alternative path to democracy, and by actually becoming an alternative location of democracy, the Muslims’ activism has so far left great impacts on the contours of the current and future democratic possibilities of Ethiopia. While I generally agree with the points he raised, I also believe that they need to be discussed and debated by all Ethiopians at large.

Ethiopian government: Stop interfering in religious matters

Eng. Abdelwuhab Bushra, Mekelle

The Ethiopian constitution states that “The state shall not interfere in religious matters and religion shall not interfere in state affairs” (Article 11 sub-article 3). But the state never stops interfering in religious matters. With respect to the constitution, the regime always abuses it. For example, the state trains a group of people called Ahbash in Beirut, Lebanon, as a new Islamic religion and introduced them by force to the Ethiopian Muslims. The Ahbash group was trained by Israel and UK governments as well as funded by both.