Monday, March 10 hundreds of Somalis gathered together before the Council of Human Rights of the UN in Geneva, to protest against the abuse committed by the Ethiopian government in the occupied Ogaden region. The Somali activists travelled from the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland with the spirit of wanting a cessation of the atrocities committed by the Ethiopia regime against the occupied Ogaden population.
The protest before the United Nations Organisation was organised by the Ogadenian ONG together with the Ogaden Communities in Europe, Ogaden Youth and Students’ Union (OYSU) and Ogaden Mother and Child Relief (OMCR).
“The crisis in the Ogaden region has only gotten worse, so that the Somalis in Ogaden are forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries like Keya, Yibuti, Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea and South Africa. Ogadenian activists work day and night in various parts of the world to urge the international community to pressure the Ethiopian government to put an end to the blockade in occupied Ogaden and allow relief agencies and human rights activists, such as Amnesty International, International Media and others, have free access to the region,” said Abdullahi Yare, one of the Ogadenian leaders.
The Ethiopian government is battling to maintain the Ogaden region under a “protectorate” system, and many western diplomats compare the occupied Ogaden region to Darfur, in Sudan, where Addis Ababa has prohibited access to anyone since 2007.
Today, most Somalis of the occupied Ogaden region hope for the end of Ethiopian occupation. The Unrepresented United Nations organisation (UUN) has repeatedly condemned the violence committed by the Ethiopian Armed and the marginalization of the Somalis in Ogaden. The decisions regarding the sovereignty cannot be adopted with the use of force, but only on the negotiation table, on which respect of the principles of self-determination, democracy and tolerance must reign. The UUN feels that the UUN upholds the fight of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, headed toward obtaining the right to self-determination, since it has never been, neither historically or politically, part of Ethiopia. Furthermore, they are pleading that the United Nations apply the section and its resolutions that calls for the elimination of colonialism.