March 17, 2008

ONLF, the African Fighters for Ogaden´s Liberation and Democracy

Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis*

A while back, in an article entitled ´Ogaden – the African Kosovo ready for Independence´, we revealed the existing parallels between the newly proclaimed Balkan state and Ogaden, a vast African territory of ca. 280000 km2, inhabited by approx. 4.5 million Somalis, that was illegally transferred by the departing British colonials to the Amhara Abyssinian tribal pseudo-king Haile Selassie between 1948 and 1955.

Ogaden has lived over the past two years under conditions similar to those befallen on the Kosovars in the terrible winter 1998 – 99; parts of the mercilessly tyrannized land have been carpet-bombed by the military aircraft of Africa´s bloodiest tyrant, the uncivil Tigray thug Meles Zenawi, who boasts to be the preferred interlocutor of the - detrimental to US interests - Ass. Secretary Jendayi Frazer.

The longer Jendayi Frazer stays in her position the better for China´s interests in Africa; this situation, at the time of the Lhasa insurgence, must take a short end.

In the same way the Kosova Liberation Front (KLA) represented the most valiant and honorable representation of the desire of the Albanian Kosovars for Freedom, Justice, Liberation and Self-Determination, the Ogaden National Liberation Front struggles for Freedom, Democracy, Respect of the Human Rights, and Independence for the long tyrannized, deprived, and massacred Ogadenis.

Fraudulent, and Corrupt US Administrators Slandering ONLF

Contrarily to what an impartial observer could possibly accept, prepaid agents working in the US administration attempt to diffuse the rumor that the ONLF is a terrorist organization, eventually assassinating people in Ogaden. This is a typical black propaganda that has been attested in various parts of the world; in the same way the KLA was falsely accused of terrorist acts (that in fact were a mere self-defense against the criminal Serbian state terror machine), the Tibetan monks have been disreputably accused of terrorism by the Chinese tyrants.

It is truly odd how the dictatorial regime at Addis Ababa expels one international NGO after the other on the ground of cooperation with the ONLF (which automatically means that the Ogadeni Front is a trustworthy interlocutor for Human Rights activists of global caliber), and these fraudulent and corrupt US administrators store money on Swiss bank accounts by defaming the Righteous and Honorable Struggle of a Nation for Liberation.

If we examine the origin of the money these corrupt US administrators and supposedly academics make, we realize that we attest one of the most squalid cases of politically immoral behaviour; the money is paid by Abyssinian ambassadors and consuls, who are all Amhara and Tigray Abyssinians hired by the racist state machine in order to ceaselessly promote their filthy tribal interests at the detriment of the outright majority of the subjugated nations of Abyssinia, the Ogadenis, the Oromos, the Afars, the Sidamas, the Kambatas, the Shekachos, the Kaffas, the Agaws, the Anuak, the Wolayitas and others.

In fact, the racist Amhara and Tigray Abyssinian elites not only attempt to perpetuate the anti-Kushitic, anti-African tyranny that they imposed on all the aforementioned, subjugated nations, but they also immorally, illegally and inhumanly occupy positions of representatives of those whose extermination they have undertaken in an all-committed and most determined way. And they disreputably call themselves ´Ethiopians´ to demonstrate cultural ´authenticity´, whereas for more than a century they undertook an anti-Ethiopian, anti-Kushitic, anti-African Cultural Genocide.

Contrarily to what eventual falsifications and black propaganda may diffuse, the ONLF cadres, spread in Ogaden and the Diaspora, incessantly work for the utmost benefit of all the oppressed Ogadenis, for their freedom, for their liberation, and for their prosperity in a democratic, tolerant and open society.

To better illuminate the ONLF cadres´ approach to their National History, Identity and Perspectives, and to highlight the parallels existing between the Struggle of Kosovars and the Pledge of the Ogadenis, we publish here integrally a Press Release issued yesterday by the ONLF Foreign Relations Bureau. As the text encapsulates the History of Ogaden, and reveals the tyrannical methods used by the Abyssinian elites, the urgency for Ogaden´s secession and independence becomes plainly understood.

ONLF Foreign Relations Bureau - Press Release

Among the most far-reaching consequences of colonialism in Africa has been the partition of the continent into political units whose borders were determined on the basis of European interests. To restrain the historical precision, many downplay the political encounter, which we believe is central to comprehending not only the Ogaden conflict but the conflicts that have taken place elsewhere in the Horn of Africa,mainly the recently devastating genocide in Somalia.

Although we are not attempting to deal with it here, the roots of the Ogaden conflict can be traced by contrasting between two distinctive epochs; first the state of the colonized Ogaden people in pre-colonial epoch and second the successive Ethiopian regimes denial of the Ogaden Somalis' rights for self-determination in the postcolonial era, which set the stage for an inevitable conflict in the Horn of Africa.

In 1896, an agreement was signed between Great Britain and the Ogaden Somali chiefs which was basically constituted Great Britain´s control over Ogaden, and aimed to preservation of Ogaden sovereignty. But Great Britain had no intention of living up to the agreement. In 1897, Great Britain signed an agreement with the Abyssinian Empire, currently known as Ethiopia, in which it recognized the Abyssinian claims on Harar, which it had occupied a few years earlier. This act was entirely a breach of the 1896 agreement between Great Britain and Ogaden Somali chiefs. Since that time the Ogaden history has been quite turbulent one and Ogaden people's struggle for self-determination has not destined or stopped.

For more than 100 years, the Ogaden territory and its inhabitants have been under severe isolation from the rest of the world. It has been a no-man´s land where Abyssinian successive regimes practice their military power and slaughter innocent civilians. All successive Ethiopian governments´ military campaigns to quell the struggle to self-determination for the Somali people in Ogaden had caused enormous human suffering including the current government´s military campaign, which is going on vigorously as this writing. Since the current Ethiopian government came to power in 1991, hundreds of Somalis in Ogaden, including women, children, elderly people, politicians and religious scholars, have been killed, disappeared, tortured or remain under incommunicado detention without charges or trial.

The people of Ogaden have endured over many decades of devastating armed conflict and since early 1994 when the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) called for referendum on self-determination for the Ogaden region, the region has been a virtually closed military zone. While the international community agonises over Darfur, another humanitarian and human rights disaster is brewing in Ogaden. The atrocities happening in Ogaden will forever hold a devastating place in history. Grave human rights abuses are fuelling the worsening humanitarian crises in Ogaden.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch said "The situation in Ethiopia´s Ogaden region, where millions are suffering, is a forgotten tragedy". Yet until recently, the serious human rights violations and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ogaden received little attention or action from the international community.

While the mainstream media has been largely focussed on Darfur crisis, one of the bloodiest conflicts in the Horn of Africa, Ogaden is also living its own silent crisis, which has been for the most part ignored by the international community. During the past several months, atrocities in Ogaden, including mass killings, rape, torture, and displacement, have remained largely silent and below the radar of the international community. Only occasionally does Ogaden conflict make the front pages as with the recent coverage of the humanitarian crisis in Ogaden. Yet, the Ogaden conflict has been raging for years with virtually no mention in the international media particularly the western press.

The recent UN report also verifies the use of indiscriminate force by Ethiopian regime forces stating that "The indiscriminate use of force by government troops the conflict in Ogaden has resulted in widespread civilian casualties and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of persons". The report further states "In addition to casualties attributable to indiscriminate use of force by the Ethiopian regime armed forces, individual government servicemen or units committed many abuses". This practice is in clear contravention of the protected status afforded to civilians under international humanitarian law.

Despite, the continuing deterioration of the situation in Ogaden region, which widely regarded as one of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, there remains no real international will to reach an equitable agreement to act. This demonstrates the imperative of international mobilization to save what is left of the people of Ogaden.

Unless the United States alters its foreign policy on Horn of Africa and unless Jendayi Frazer acknowledges and admits she is wrong her firm support for the Ethiopian regime genocidal policy in Ogaden particular, hundreds of thousands innocent civilian more will suffer unabated at the hands of Ethiopian forces and the misinformed United States policy of indifference policies based on the myth of global war on terror.

Now is the time to raise and increase pressure on the international community to take an action the crisis in Ogaden. If there's not something done very quickly to break that kind of cycle of impunity whereby Ethiopian military and leaders in Addis Ababa feel they can commit abuses of this sort and get away with it, then the crisis in Ogaden is only going to deepen.

While nothing can be done for the unfortunate lives that have already been lost, hope still remains for those who have persevered through the hardships. What many fail to understand is that the longer these crimes are allowed in Ogaden, the more anguish will be created. Fortunately, there are those who do realize this fact, and are trying their best to change the course of Ogaden´s future. Although this chapter of history has had an appalling start, the end has not yet been written. This ending can be one filled with the suffering that Ogaden has endured since the conflict first began, or it can be one filled with hope and rectitude. It all simply depends on the choices, decisions, and actions of those who hold the power that writes the world history.

We, Ogaden Diaspora appeal to UN, United States, EU and the international community at large to immediately intervene and rescue Somali people in Ogaden and stop the Ethiopian forces campaign against innocent civilians. At the same time to exert pressure on Ethiopian regime to stop immediately the current genocidal policy it is implementing in Ogaden and find a political solution to the current conflict in Ogaden.


Picture: the reality of Ogaden in its real colours

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Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

Orientalist, Historian, Political Scientist, Dr. Megalommatis, 51, is the author of 12 books, dozens of scholarly articles, hundreds of encyclopedia entries, and thousands of articles. He speaks, reads and writes more than 15, modern and ancient, languages. He refuted Greek nationalism, supported Martin Bernal´s Black Athena, and rejected the Greco-Romano-centric version of History. He pleaded for the European History by J. B. Duroselle, and defended the rights of the Turkish, Pomak, Macedonian, Vlachian, Arvanitic, Latin Catholic, and Jewish minorities of Greece. Born Christian Orthodox, he adhered to Islam when 36, devoted to ideas of Muhyieldin Ibn al Arabi.

Greek citizen of Turkish origin, Prof. Megalommatis studied and/or worked in Turkey, Greece, France, England, Belgium, Germany, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Russia, and carried out research trips throughout the Middle East, Northeastern Africa and Central Asia. His career extended from Research & Education, Journalism, Publications, Photography, and Translation to Website Development, Human Rights Advocacy, Marketing, Sales & Brokerage. He traveled in more than 80 countries in 5 continents. He defends the Right of Aramaeans, Oromos, Ogadenis, Sidamas, Berbers, Afars, Anuak, Darfuris, Bejas and Tibetans to National Independence, demands international recognition for Kosovo, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Transnistria, calls for National Unity in Somalia, and denounces Islamic Terrorism.

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