Thursday, 20 June 2013

Somali Refugees Fleeing Ethiopian Government Persecution in Ogaden

Somali Refugees Fleeing Ethiopian Government Persecution in Ogaden

The Ethiopian military and paramilitary forces, operating in the Ogaden region, are, it is alleged, carrying out extra judicial killings and gang rapes; falsely arresting and torturing innocent civilians; looting and destroying villages and crops in a systematic attempt to terrify the people. This is the consistent message coming out of the region and from those who have fled persecution and are now in the world’s largest refugee camp, in Dadaab, Kenya. It is a message of government brutality and collective suffering taking place not only in the Ogaden but in a number of areas of Ethiopia, including the Amhara region, Gambella, Oromia and the Omo valley. Regime brutality that Genocide Watch (GW) consider “to have already reached Stage 7 (of 8), genocide massacres, against many of its peoples, including the Anuak, Ogadeni, Oromo, and Omo tribes”. They call on the EPRDF regime to “adhere to it’s own constitution and allow its provinces the legal autonomy they are guaranteed.”
Around five million people live in the Ogaden region. Predominantly ethnic Somalis, mostly pastoralists, they live in what is one of the least developed corners of the world. Ravaged by drought and famine, the region has been the battleground for violent disputes between Ethiopia and Somalia for generations. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), claim the people of the region want self-determination from Ethiopia, a right they have been fighting for since their formation in 1984. A right enshrined in the 19th Century agreement (enacted in 1948) with Britain, when sovereignty and control of the region was passed to Ethiopia. A crucial proviso, successive Ethiopian governments have conveniently ignored.
With the international media banned by the Ethiopian government since 2007 and with an economic and aid embargo being enforced the region is totally isolated, making gathering information about the situation within the five affected districts difficult. I recently spent a week in Dadaab where I met dozens of refugees from the Ogaden; men, women and children who repeatedly relayed accounts of murder, rape, torture and intimidation at the hands of government forces. Accounts that if true, – and we have no reason to doubt them, confirm reports from, among others – Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Genocide Watch – who make clear their view, that the Ethiopian government has “initiated a genocidal campaign against the Ogaden Somali population”, constituting “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
State Terrorism
The people, victims of terrible abuse, carry with them the scars, often physical, always psychological, of their horrific ordeal. Listening to their stories and the testimonies of former Liyuu personnel, a clear picture of the systematic approach being employed by the Ethiopian military and Liyuu Police operating within the Ogaden emerges.
Arbitrary killings, rape, torture, and destruction of property are the unimaginative preferred tools of terror, ‘use the penis as a weapon against the women’ the men are told, burn villagers homes and steal their cattle, confiscate humanitarian aid-including food, and create an intolerable fear ridden environment. Men joining the Ethiopian military and Liyuu Police, like 25 year old Abdi who arrived in Dadaab in January 2013 and like many was forcibly recruited, are told, “there is no court that can control you, that we were free from the law, enjoy your freedom, they told us.” The methodology of occupation, including extra judicial killing, is made clear,  “we were told to rape the young women… When we went into the rural areas, we were 300 men. When we saw a young mother with children aged from one years old to five years old, we would rape her.”
Soldiers that commit many rapes, murders and robberies, Abdi tells us, are “rewarded and praised. They were given bonuses of around 5000 ETB ($250), in addition to the salary that was 2000 ($100) ETB a month.”
Women, like 27-year-old Rohar, tell of arbitrary arrests and torture. Imprisoned with her husband when she was “in the ninth month of pregnancy. We were made to walk for three days and three nights before a bus collected us and drove us for one more day/night to Jijiga.” Detained for two years without charge in Jail Ogaden in Jijiga, Rohar, as most detainees are, was accused of supporting the ONLF and “repeatedly tortured from the very beginning even though I was pregnant. They would tie a rope around the branch of a tree and a noose around my neck, then they would pull on the rope to strangle me. The evidence is still on my body – (she shows me a terrible burn scar on her neck).”  Throughout this time she reports being “raped by groups of soldiers. It used to happen around midnight. I can only remember the first three men who raped me. They would take me out and leave the child/baby in the room with the other women, and bring me back in the early morning.”  Rohar was released when she was no more use to the soldiers after becoming unwell with abdominal pains, caused, she believes, by the repeated rapes. This account, from beginning to end is typical of many women’s experiences.
A divisional commander, now in Dadaab, related how during their three-month training in the Liyuu they were shown demonstrations in “how to rape a woman, and how to break a virgin”. They are carrying out atrocities in the region in order,  “to make the people afraid and to place them under the control of the Ethiopian military, and fundamentally “because there is oil in the region and the government wants the oil for themselves. The military is there to make the people fearful so they won’t support the ONLF.”
Back in the late 19th century, when the region was under British control, oil was suspected to be present in the region, in 1936 under the Italian occupation geological mapping of the Ogaden Basin began by the Italian oil company AGIP. Their records were later used by other companies in early studies of the region and in the early 1940’s oil exploration in the Ogaden basin began.
In 1972 the American company Tenneco drilled a series of wells and found oil and gas. These discoveries mean the region, now desperately poor, is potentially the richest area of the country. In 1975 in the wake of the Ethiopian revolution, the company stopped operations and the military junta expelled all foreign companies. In the past fifty years or so it is estimated that 46 wells have been drilled searching for the black gold.
It would appear the Ethiopian government sees the natural resources of the Ogaden as another party asset to add to its burgeoning portfolio. People living within 100 km of oil exploration sites have been displaced, some GW tell us are herded into internally displaced camps, whilst others are simply made homeless. Sharing the view of the Liyuu recruit, the ONLF believes the Ethiopian military intends to secure the resources for the government and exclude local people. The Africa Faith and Justice Network confirms this view, saying: “With the discovery of petroleum leading to exploration missions by foreign companies, the government’s motives [in the region] are questionable.”
Donor neglect and self-interest
Why, In the face of such blatant state criminality, do donor countries – America, Britain and the European Union, who provide between a third and a half of Ethiopia’s federal budget, remain silent, this the common-sense question, repeatedly asked by victims of abuse. Ethiopia is of course a key strategic ally of America and the west in their fight against extreme Islamic groups, the US has military bases in Ethiopia from where it launches its unmanned drones into Somalia and Yemen. Add to this the potential oil bonanza in the Ogaden, and indeed elsewhere in the country, and a toxic cocktail of mixed motives and self-interest starts to ferment.
The EPRDF government, under the premiership of Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, when confronted with accounts of military criminality issues blanket denials and accuses groups, such as HRW, of political bias and misinformation. Duplicitous and disingenuous, the regime, which owns most of the media in Ethiopia, seeks to control the flow of information within and without the country, and hide the atrocities being committed by the military and Liyuu to innocent civilians in the Ogaden and indeed elsewhere. If the government has nothing to hide Mr. Desalegn then open up the region to humanitarian aid groups and allow journalists unrestricted access.
Peace is the number one priority in the Ogaden and for humanity more broadly, and all measures to remove the obstacles to its realization should be made by those working for the people of the region. Discussions held in Nairobi in September 2012 broke down when the ONLF refused to accept the condition of constitutional recognition asked of them by the government team. This was unfortunate and to my mind ill judged, what should be insisted upon however, is that both the military/Liyuu and the ONLF lay down their arms and agree an unconditional ceasefire. It is hard to see how one can negotiate a long term solution whilst innocent men are being tortured, women raped, children terrified and homes destroyed.
Graham Peebles is director of the Create Trust. He can be reached at:

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Maxaan Ku Taageeray ONLF by Rooble Mohamed

30 May 2013 

Qofka banii aadamka ah markuu cabiro Fikirkiisa Maskaxiyan, waxaa usoo baxaya Fikrad Toolmoon oo ku cabiran Mabda' Qeexan oo saliim ah. Waxaan Arkay Ciidanka Wadaniga Xoraynta Ogadenia, oo Naftooda qaaliga ah uhuray Difaaca Dalka Hooyo & Soo celinta Sharafta Umaddeena La dulmay, iyagoon habayarate kuqadanin wax lacag ah una huray naftooda dadka ogadenia(Volunteer) ufiirso walaalka muslimka ahoow maha si uu isagu uhelo nolol, waayo waa ka shihiidayaa isagu barri. 

Waxaan Arkay Masuuliyiinya JWXO ee Maamulaysa Hormuudka Halganka Dhinacyadiisa Kala duwan, una maamulaya Si cadaalad, Karti, Khibrad & Isu hogaansan ay ku dheehantahay kala danbayn. Markaad u fiirsato waxaad meel fog ka arkaysaa, Dawladii Ogadenia maamuli lahayd oo Si hufan diyaar ugu ah Hanashada Dhulkooda uu Guumaysigu Gawriiro. Waxaan Arkay Dastuur cadaalad, kala danbayn ay ku dheehanyihiin Mabda'a Qurxoon ee ay keentay JWXO. Waxaan Arkay Mabda' qeexaya In umadda Ogadenia dagta oo dhan hesho nolol siman oo Dhamaantood noqdaan Ul & Diirkeed (United). Waxaan arkay Cabirka qeexan ee ah Inaan ka xorowno Ethiopia Shacabka Ogadenia laga qaado Afti ay kudiidaan Ama kuyeelaan kamid noqoshada Abyssinia Walaalkayoow ma fikir kaas ka qurxoon baad aragtay? Jawabtu wa adiga.

Waxaan Arkay in ONLF rabin xilal ay kudoontaan raali galinta naftooda & reerkooda, midaas oy kuu cadaynayso Wada hadalkiii Hakadka galay, oy madaxda JWXO ku diiday Qaadashada Dastuurka Ethiopia ee ku tuntay, duudsiyay xaqii umadda Ogadenia iyadoo dastuurku uusan ilaalinin qawanintii loo dajiyay balse xasuuqay shacabwaynaha Ogadenia.

Maalinkaas oon anigoon gabyaa ahayn si hufan qalbigana kasoo go'day ganjeeladana ufuray Gaax igu raagtay tiriyayna geeraarkan waxana idhi.

Masuuliyiinta JWXE
Maamulaysa Shacabkiyo
Ciidankaa Mintidayee
Mooraalkaa siiyoow
Idinkaaa mudnanta leh

Masuliyinta JWXEE
Halgankii Mudada dheer
Marba mel kadhici jiray
Majaraha uyeelooow
Idinkaa mudnaanta leh

Masuuliyiinta JWXEE
Mabda'oodu uu yahay
Midnimada Dadkoodiyo
Macaanka Xoriyadooow
Idinkaa mudnaanta leh.

Waxaan arkay Halgan lasoo maro ki ugu dheeraa oo ah kan JWXO hormuudka utahay. Oo ay si loo wada dhanyahay heerkaas usoo gaadhsiiyeen Shacabka ogadenia oo dhan. Waxaan ku tilmaamay halgan loowada dhanyahay dhinacwalba hanoqotee.

Waxaan hubaa in maanta Ogadenia aysan umaqnayn Rajo aan ahayn Alle SW & Jabhada Wadaniga Xoraynta Ogadenia. Waxaan hubaa hadii uusan jirin Wiilka naftii huraha ah ee gaadhka kahaya dhulka hooyo, una diiday cadawga shisheeyaha inay si dhibyar kulasoo baxaan khayraadka Daniiciga ah ee Ogadenia. Waxaan meel fog ku cabiray in Dhulka ogadenia lagu beeri lahaa dad kale oynaan ahayn isku dhaqan & Diin midnaba hadii aysan JWXO qori uqaadin.

Waxaan arkay in JWXO rabto mawqif cad oo ah in Dhamaan Lasoo afjaro dhibaatada Ogadenia si loogu muujiyo wada hadal leh gacan sadexaad oo dhex dhexaadisa, wadan nabad ah. Midaas oo kutusinaysa bisaylka ONLF & sida ay aqoon dheeraad ah ugu leedahay cadawgeeda oo aan aaminsanahay inuusan jirin maanta caalamka dawlad ama urur Ethiopia uyaqana siday JWXO utaqaano. Xalkaas kadib in dhamaan muwaadiniinta ogadenia ee qaarkood ku rafaaday Qaxootiyada caalamka kusoo laabtaan dhulka hooyo. Waxyar hadaan kaaga ifiiyo kobtaas fikirka ay qabaan Lahaystayaasha Kilil kusheegu, waa kuwa soo qixiyay dadkeena aan waxba galabsan marabaan wax xal ah habayaraatee, waxaa ka go'an kaliya noolaanshaha naftiisa. (Calooshiisa Laciyaare) onlf waxay matashaa 6million oo shacab ah inay helaan Xorriyad. Aan kuwaydiiyee ma simanyihiin labadaasi? Jawabtu wa xagaga.

Gaba-Gabadii Qormadan waxaan kusoo af jarayaa kula dar-daarmayaa umadda Ogadenia inay garab istaagaan halganka lagu goobayo xorriyada ogadenia, waxaa hubaal ah in maanta umaddena aysan umaqnayn cid kale. Waxaana odhan lahaa Aan eego mustaqbalka dheer (Long term plane) yaysan kuhodin, beenta ku salaysan Sadexda sano & kayar ee Larabo in lagu jah wareeriyo Shacabkeena.

Dhibkii Aan usamiraa
Dheeftiisii Lahelayoo
Halgankii dhaqaqyoo
Dhidibada u aas nee

Bal aan dhawro eegana
Dhawaaqyada kasoo baxa
Dhagar Qabe wayaanaha.

Kudhimo Sharaf, Cissi, Geesinimo, Rabitaan cad & Helidda xorriyada Ogadenia.

Lasoco qaybta labaad...,

Free the occupied Ogadenia!

By Rooble Mohamed


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Ogaden: The Forgotten Land by Shukri Mohamed.

My name is Shukri Mohamed; I am a 13 year old middle school student, and just like most American children I didn’t know much about the outside world. However that all changed after I came across an article about the Ogaden region.
The Ogaden is a territory that is populated mainly by ethnic Somalis and is illegally occupied by Ethiopia. During 1891 Ethiopian King Menelik II tried to claim this territory but was eventually unsuccessful. It later became a British protectorate after Great Britain and the “Chiefs” in Ogaden signed a treaty in 1896 that guaranteed Ogaden’s security under British rule. After the WWII, Great Britain ceded the Ogaden to Ethiopia without the agreement or knowledge of its citizens.
Human rights violations
The Ogaden is a vast under developed land that has been marginalized by Ethiopian governments. It has an estimated population of 8 million, of those 90% are nomads, unfortunately the entire region has less than 15% literacy rate. Basic services such as water and heath care are non-existent in most parts of the Ogaden.
The Ogaden is also a military zone where the Ethiopian government is deliberately committing human rights violations against the civilians. The government kicked out all humanitarian aid organizations including the Red Cross and MSF/Doctors Without Borders.
Current situation
The Ogaden is currently isolated from the rest of the world as the Ethiopian government imposed an economic, humanitarian and media blockade. Basically the people are between death, prison, and refugee camps. Most of them live in the refugee camps in neighboring countries; some are either dead or in prison, while the remaining live under intimidation and fear. Most women in the Ogaden are raped and tortured daily and sometimes even killed as they are most vulnerable. Sadly my own aunt was one of the victims who were raped. This is not something new, it has been happening quite sometime in the Ogaden.
Thousands continue to be killed, thousands continue to be displaced, thousands continue to be raped and the genocide continues.
So I ask, why is the world watching the genocide in the Ogaden, doesn’t it hear the cries of the mothers, fathers and helpless children in the Ogaden?
We shouldn’t let this happen on our watch, so let’s all please take action today and be the voice of the voiceless in the Ogaden.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Dhoodaan - The Legacy of a Fallen Hero By Abdirahman Hollywood

A well-known Somali poet Abdullahi Mo’alin Ahmed “Dhoodaan” passed away at the age of 72 in the city of Harar. Dhoodaan left behind a wife and 10 children; he was one of the pioneers of Somali poetry and arguably the greatest poet of the last century. No doubt the Somali people have lost a legendary figure, May God bless his soul.

Early Life

Dhoodaan was born in 1941 in Wardheer region of the Ethiopian occupied Ogaden territory. Born to a a nomadic pastoralist family, he had what could have been speech and language delay disorder at an early age. Young Dhoodaan during those years was a very shy, quiet, and observant child, many thought he will never speak again. Not surprising for a nomadic society that had little knowledge of disorders or its diagnosis techniques. Little did they know what was boiling under his prolonged silence and like a volcano he erupted. What followed was a miracle, not only was he able to speak but was able to do so flawlessly through poetry. He spoke elegantly and with ease, unusual for a child, yet what people didn’t understand was where he acquired such a skill.

Poetry did not run in his blood line, in fact none of his family history was known for poetry. But because he didn’t have the ability to speak at an early age, he compensated it through observation. He made sense of his surroundings by silently constructing words in his mind. This would later become poetry, and through this poetry he would later speak about the issues facing his community; whether it was famine, war or love. He did not shy away from challenging the status quo, and the leaders of his community. From that point, it was clear that he was not an ordinary young boy, but a legend in the making.

Cultural Impact

Dhoodaan had many and countless poems, but was famously known for Jacbur, a never before seen form of poetry, a consolidation of unrelated words, yet in a sarcastic way made sense which has subtle political import and messages. It was the first time someone dare challenge the sacred form of the thousands year old form of Somali poetry. Intentionally he poked fun of the old form of poetry; it was brilliant and a comedy at its best. It made people laugh when Dhoodaan brought together allegories of diametrically opposed things such as a goat and a hyena dinning together or grilling a watermelon and sweetening it with hot oil. Something only the brilliance of Dhoodaan can pull off; he became the new standard of Somali poetry and a yardstick for all the other poets to be measured against. He had also a beautiful voice which pulled in and enchant his listeners. No doubt his poetry will forever live among us.

Political Impact

Dhoodaan was from the Ethiopian occupied Ogaden region and just like many others who fled the brutality of the Ethiopian regimes, he moved to Somalia; he very well understood what it meant to live under an oppressive regime. It was no surprise that he immediately challenged and spoke critically against the authoritarian regime of Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in his newly adopted country. After the failure of the 1977 Ogaden War, he openly criticized and condemned the Barre regime for turning the war into a border issue and a disputed territory between Somalia and Ethiopia. He was famously known for his support of the movements for the liberation of occupied Ogaden, as was depicted in many of his poems.

Later in Life

For all he was known for, Dhoodaan later in his life not only accepted the Ethiopian occupation of the Ogaden, but also supported them through his poetry and openly denounced the struggle for freedom in Ogaden in public gatherings. Many wondered how could a man who despised Ethiopian occupation so easily became its voice. Many argued that Dhoodaan was no longer the same man, he was in the twilight of his life and incapable of doing what he could have done when he was younger. In fact, they argue that he has done all he could for his people, urging them to break and free themselves from the shackles of oppression. They said maybe he was a defeated man, maybe he felt that all he has done has gone to waste and fell on a deaf ear.

Unfortunately we will never know these answers. There are those who believe that Dhoodan was coerced and forced to repudiate his previous anti-colonial stance. They say he had no choice; he lived in the belly of the beast (in occupied Ogaden) and could not dare challenge the Ethiopian regime. He was forced to cooperate in order to safe himself. He was aging and did not want to leave his homeland. They reason that Dhoodan himself used say “reflect on my previous poetry” when people ask him why he cannot produce poetry.

However there are many who argue the opposite, saying he should have never accepted Ethiopian occupation, and certainly was not the only man in this kind of situation. Some brought up Mohamud Abdullahi Isse “Singub,” another legendary Somali poet. Singub was a poet in his own right and a darn good one, but was also an actor, producer, director, singer and a song writer. Just like Dhoodaan he was born in the Ogaden and just like Dhoodaan was a big supporter of the liberation movement in the Ogaden. But unlike Dhoodaan, Singub refused to accept oppression and publicly denounced the occupation of his country.

No doubt Dhoodaan will be written in the pages of the Somali history, not doubt we lost an icon. But I have no doubt people will debate his legacy; let’s hope they will remember him for his good deeds, activism, advocacy, freedom for the oppressed, and his impact on Somali poetry. Above all, let us not let the Ethiopian regime own the legacy of Dhoodaan. Let us repossess (by bringing his struggle poetry back to life) the-good-old Dhoodaan from occupied Ogaden

and in the process forgive his shortcoming while magnifying and celebrating his true self, the Dhoodaan of struggle, culture and poetry. It is indeed tragic that his body was wrapped with Ethiopian flag at his funeral. As we often say it’s wrong to speak ill of the deceased, Dhoodaan was not an ordinary man; his spirit will forever live amongst us. Let’s all pray for him, may the mercy of Allah be with him!

The below lines are extracted from his classic Salleelo poem which explained and showed the people of Ogaden the painful road they must travel if they’re to attain freedom:

Shardoo nacabka Say-dheere iyo saanad lala doonto
Seef iyo bilaawiyo shardoo salabka loo qaato
Suryaduu maraayaba shardood, soodhle kaga shiishto
Sanbabada shardood kala heshoo, sarartu dhiigowdo
Adigana surkuu lugu jariyo sabaro naafooba
Iyo suxuladaadoo jabiyo seed ku kala booda
Shardii ood naftoo sirinsirqa ah toban sagaalayso
Soomalidda Galbeedeey filkiin, lama sin maysaane


Monday, 22 April 2013

Why is the World Ignoring the Genocide in Ogaden? by Abdie E. Makadin

I should most definitely start this out by mentioning the creator of the heavens, the earth and everything in between; In the name of Allah, most Beneficent and the most Merciful.

My name is Abdie Elyas Makadin; I am a 15 year old high school senior and just like every other child in America I knew not much about politics or what happens beyond my school and home. But, all that has changed after I visited Kenya during the holidays.
I was expecting to have fun and relax. But, relatives I met there and what they have been through all their lives in Ogaden and in Dadab Refugee Camp through their stories were something that forced me to write this piece and inform the world about their plight.
Relatives in Dadab Refugee Camp
Dadab Refugee Camp is the largest refugee camp in the world. It is located in Kenya and it is home to hundreds of thousands of Ogadenis, many of who are my own relatives. According to Human Rights Watch - Ogadenis fled the Ogaden after the Ethiopian government either killed, raped, jailed or tortured them and burned their houses, all while starving them of food and medication - same ordeal shared with me by my relatives during my stay in Kenya.
The plight of Ogadenis
Because of a major drought, millions of Ogadenis are starving. There is also a counter insurgency that has been going on for many years now where the people have risen up against the marginalization and the brutal military occupation tactics of the Ethiopian regime.
Ethiopia has kicked the Red Cross and the Doctors Without Borders and other aid agencies out of the Ogaden and is blocking food aid to the millions starving Ogadenis.
For me to mention Ethiopia's tools of destruction and ways of torture through the scars of these refugees may even seem obscene to word. The genocide in Ogaden is like a never-ending fiasco. Needless to say, the media says nothing about it. Ogadenis are suffering as you read this and the outside world never renders or says a word.
It is a reality that the world chose to ignore, because, the same country that has been committing these grave atrocities against innocent civilians in Ogaden, that is Ethiopia, is the largest recipient of Western aid in Africa, receiving about seven billion a year.
This is a Western funded genocide in the Ogaden that is being completely ignored by the Western media and the Western governments, even though they know all about it. And that saddens me, because I'm a Westerner myself.
Illegal oil exploration in Ogaden at the expense of human rights
And then, there is Africa Oil Corp., a Canadian oil company that has chosen to explore oil in Ogaden at the expense of human rights and pay Ethiopia blood money. With these kind of actions, I wonder if all the things I was taught about democracy, Western civilization and human rights were all nothing, but false.
What can be done to stop the genocide in Ogaden?
It is sad that I was taught that my country, America is the defender of humanity and liberator of the oppressed peoples all over the world, yet it funds the genocidal regime in Ethiopia that commits all these atrocities against innocent civilians in Ogaden.
I ask of my dear president, Mr. Obama to intervene and help put an end to Ethiopia's genocide in Ogaden. I ask of him to take action and stop funding this tyrannical regime that has been committing atrocities for so long and bring justice and freedom to this region that has hardly ever seen peace.
If my country, America is with the oppressed and not the oppressor and the promises of my president were real, then surely now is the time to prove it!

The author, Abdie E. Makadin can be reached at:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Long Sleep of Somalis & Their Cushitic Brethren by Moh'ed Hared

Lately, I have been asking  Somalis and Cushites alike many questions, many of whom they didn't like. Because, they were quite outlandish to them. And their answers were equally shocking to me. They even had no idea of what I was talking about. I just could not wake them all up once and convince each one of them that Ogaden is inhabited by and belongs to Somalis, that it is not in Ethiopia, neither can Somalis ever be Ethiopians nor even the name Ethiopia itself ever existed.
So, I made sure I at least wrote something down in the hope that it will open their eyes to what Ogaden is, who inhabits it, where it actually is located, the situation in occupied Ogaden, what we have been demanding for so long now, who the colonisers are, where they came from, what their tools of colonisation are and the long sleep of our people - just so they can at least study this nation of occupiers, Abyssinia (now fakely rebranded as Ethiopia) - if indeed they needed to take what is rightfully theirs back and live and die free.
Ogaden is a Somali-inhabited territory that is illegally occupied by Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia). Ogaden, therefore, is located in Eastern Africa and never has it been in fake Ethiopia. When the rest of the African nations were breaking free from colonisation, Britain illegally handed over Ogaden to Abyssinia. One may argue otherwise forever, but that is the fact known to every human being, not animals.
The Situation in occupied Ogaden
The situation in occupied Ogaden today is by far the worst in Africa. There is a systematic genocide going on in Ogaden perpetuated by Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) and sadly, it is our taxes collected by Western countries that is funding it. In fact, in one of the many articles written by one of the best Cushitic writers today, Nuradin Jilani, a Somali himself from occupied Ogaden, best describes occupied Ogaden and the situation its people have found themselves in as follows:
"Other than the ready-made propaganda aired on the ESTV and UniversalTV, the real situation in occupied Ogaden is that of a place under lock and siege, a place where independent journalists, human rights activists and international NGOs are either expelled or denied entry. A place where the local people live in abject poverty, destitution, and fear. The cream of the Somali society in Ogaden and its intellectuals are either in jail, out of the country, in exile, or killed. This has hardly been a region at peace for more than a century. In essence, occupied Ogaden is a place 'the man died', to borrow the phrase from Wole Soyinka."
What we have been fighting for
One may think that we are fighting for a fake peace - with strings attached - or for a road or a five star hotel to be built. But, truth of the matter is, we've been fighting for more than a century against Abyssinia not for those materialistic things, but rather for our basic rights; justice and freedom, nothing less, nothing more. And if Abyssinia shall not understand that sooner, we will keep fighting it for centuries more until we win our independence, God-willing.
Why fake Ethiopia and not Abyssinia?
First of all, Somalis and indeed other Cushites whose lands are illegally occupied and their people colonised for hundreds of years and counting by successive Abyssinian rulers should know that the name Ethiopia is fake and has never existed for Abyssinians.
Ethiopia is not many nations. It is a fake rebranded name that previously was Abyssinia to legitimise Abyssinia's conquest, expansionism and colonisation of the ever-sleeping Cushitic nations - Ogaden, Oromia, Sidama and Afar. Ethiopia, therefore, encompasses only Amhara and Tigray regions. And that is fact.
Dabaqodhi, Hostage or Criminal: Fake Ethiopia's confusion and the tools it uses to colonise
The word dabaqodhi is a Somali word used to call animals. One may ask, though, the following three questions, after which I will provide each question an answer:
  1. Why are humans labelled as such (dabaqodhi) and who is profiting from all this un-Islamic name-calling among Muslims? The answer is again, fake Ethiopia. Somalis actually coined the word, and Ethiopia sold it back to them, just like it sells Khat exclusively to them, to create more confusion among Somalis and colonise them mentally even more by dividing and ruling them forever.
  2. What should those who live under the illegal occupation be called? The answer is that, they are hostages, victims of a century old brutal colonisation. You would be shocked to learn that one can call his own mother a dabaqodhi, just because, like everyone else, she is a hostage to Abyssinia and says what she is told to say or choose between rape and a filthy jail called Jail Ogaden. Ya Illahi! This tool by fake Ethiopia, alongside Khat, has to really be stopped!
  3. What about the likes of Ina Iley (a mere colonial representative) who are used by Abyssinia to kill and subjugate their own people? Well, they are criminals. The answer is that simple. Anyone who kills another unless for a soul or for corruption done in the land or aids or funds those who commit those acts is a criminal, nothing less, nothing more. That is what they truly are. Thus, there is no need for the word dabaqodhi in our struggle. If anyone needs it, it is fake Ethiopia that needs it badly, for it is one of its best selling tools it uses to control our minds and cause confusion.
The long sleep of the Cushitic people
Ask an Abyssinian what their nationality is, and they will obviously tell you, they are Ethiopians, then ask them what would their Ethiopia look like if it was a democracy and they would tell you that there would be freedom and everyone's rights would be respected. Hmmm.. Now, ask them what their reaction would be had the people in Ogaden or even Oromia been given the chance to hold a referendum on gaining their independence like in South Sudan and the even more obvious answer you will get is - like one Netizen of Abyssinian origin told me just couple of days ago on Google+ after I had asked him the same question: "That day shall never happen, Muhammad. Not until the last one of 'us' is still alive".
Now surprised you may be, you would ask yourself, where is the democracy and the respect for people's rights this nation of colonisers often preach to 'others'? But, I'm not surprised. In fact, I was never surprised. Because, what that Abyssinian told me was not a secret. It is rather a shared belief from every corner of the occupation, Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia), which only consists of Amhara and Tigray regions.
But although I am not surprised by the double standards of Abyssinia, I'm worried by the level of ignorance of many of our people, both Somalis and other Cushitic peoples. They barely even know that they are colonised. And that saddens me to the core, especially when our people are in a long sleep and those who hold their land and people captive spit that out to your face for we never counted to them as no more than a mere property they own and whose fathers do about anything they wish.
"I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves." ~ Harriet Tubman.
I really have nothing against any human being in this world, but I believe it is fair to question ourselves why would anyone leave their home and occupy ours and even worse rape, torture and kill us and our family members for centuries and when you finally ask them to leave in peace, they respond to us that they are building roads and schools for us. Is that not an insult in every single way? Am I not a fellow human being? Did anybody ask me whether I wanted a road or school built in my country by a foreigner who rapes my mom and sister, tortures my brother and friend, jails me and my intellectuals and kills my father and neighbour? Where is freedom? Where is justice?
Finally, in order to stop this madness by Abyssinia once and for all, I believe that all freedom loving Cushites and other nations alike should come together, unite and go bareknuckles with this tyrannical nation of occupiers that is disguised behind fake Ethiopia. Let us go!
The author, Moh'ed Hared is a Somali blogger, thinker, activist, anti-Khat campaigner and critic. He currently lives in the US and writes for He can be reached at: or @mo7amed7ared on Twitter.

Silence is a War Crime by Sadak M. Ahmed

I am a Somali who hails from and represents Ogaden, a country that was illegally handed over to Ethiopia in September 24th, 1948 by Great Britain. Sadly, Britain, a European colonial power that left my people and country without granting our independence and put us in this mess has ever since been funding the hidden genocide of our people that still persists to this very day.

The hidden genocide in Ogaden and the silence of the world

It is not only Great Britain that funds the hidden genocide in Ogaden. The US and the EU do fund Ethiopia as well to keep doing its dirty work.

What we, the people of Ogaden, go through and witness every now and then is no different than what slavery was, colonialism caused, and Hitler did. It simply is a violation of human rights, a hidden genocide and an intentional silence of an international community that caused us this misery in the first place and still funds my suffering, let alone help stop it!

It is a unfortunate that the United States, the United Kingdom, the EU and specifically the United Nations kept silent on the killing and suffering of the people of Ogaden by Ethiopia.
We are peaceful people seeking to kill our pain through peaceful means. We seek no war. Because, we believe an eye for an eye insures little at all. We see prosperity in a different aspect and that is to live side by side peacefully with our neighboring countries, unoccupied and without any form of suffering.

Where is the love?

As humans, love does exist between us unconditionally. But, things change when one brings ego to the table and love, peace and coexistence are no options for them, let alone understand our plight and stop the genocide.

It is unfortunate that one race, tribe, clan, group or country bypasses that love and replaces it with completely the opposite. Every single day we ask the world, where is humanity? Where is the love? And sadly, no one heads our cries!

Appeal to every human being on earth

We ask of all the peace loving people, the international community, and those of you who strive to prosper and hope to put an end to the world's suffering to help us end the hidden genocide in Ogaden and save the lives of millions by being voice for my voiceless people and asking your local senators, mayors or governors to pressure the Western governments to stop funding the Ethiopian regime that commits these atrocities - in 21st Century - against the people of Ogaden.

And lastly, but not least, to Somalis of Ogaden, may you all speak up from the silent cries you hold within, and let your voices be heard! The time is now to bring an end to the suffering of our people. Let us all write and let the world know what is happening in Ogaden.

The author, Sadak M. Ahmed can be reached at:

Ogaden: Test for Africa’s post colonial era.

SATURDAY, 13 APRIL 2013 In his recent book, Ethiopia: The Last Two Frontiers, Prof. John Markakis presents an overarching historical profile and a major hurdle that need to be addressed in Ethiopia to reach the desired goal of this turbulent nation guarded ever since by a ruling class of Abyssinian origin. Analytical evidences show that the strongest obstacle for the stability of the horn of Africa has great connection with the unsolved Ogaden issue, the womb of resistance and the torrent challenge ever Ethiopia encountered since the region’s subjugation. Until this frontier is crossed, Ethiopian colonial power will not have secure borders that a mature nation requires. Ogaden has a long history of colonial combat. From Portuguese’s support of Abyssinia in 1529 to modern Italy and British aggression and unfolding Ethiopia’s colonial ambition, Somalis in the Ogaden has however bravely stood up firmly against all kinds of colonial power interests. But noticeably colonialism has left remarkable and gruesome incidents in the hearts of all spectrums of the Somalis in the Ogaden. The geo-political importance of the Ogaden and its strategic location influenced colonial powers to deploy their troubles in the region. As colonialism is a current problem in the Ogaden, most of African countries have suffered colonial aggression too. For the people of these countries and outsiders it might be seem that the age of colonialism is over and the whole world is postcolonial. However, scars of colonialism have not fully stopped bleeding in Africa yet. Unarguably the term post-colonial neither has got a room nor does it apply to Ogaden people context. This region is the womb center of Africa's longest and sordid colonial ideology. Unlike African countries, colonialism in the Ogaden is architected by a black man in the continent which adds the wound into salt and creates a dark cloud that overshadows Africa's brave history against the white European colonial invasion. Common Culture There may be different opinions on what society is about. However, everyone knows that the culture plays a central role to denote a society and its consistency. Culture is also man-made act. In the case of Somalis in the Ogaden and Ethiopia highlanders, we talk about two distant and alien cultures against each other that a powerful authoritarian state powers mending divergent people to together. You cannot force a culture to become one with another culture which is namely the occupation power where the natives consider them as a enemy, and struggle against, that is precisely why the Ethiopian Ethnic Federalism did not work in the Ogaden, because it kills the linguistic identity of Somali Ogaden identify with. Perspectives on ethnicity Ethnic Federalism in Ethiopia and its false facade contrasts the reality on the ground. Ethiopia consists of various groups that diverge not only cultures and way of life, but also the policies adopted by the federal government shows clearly deviation low of rule which serve a particular ethnic groups in both locally and national level. The Organizational structure of the EPRDF show also that the highest number of ethnic groups lives under oppressive and ruthless. The stigmatization culture of a particular group was more or less a part of the main political strategic ideology to ensure political survival over time. Abyssinian groups (Amhara and Tigre) especially Amharas have a lot to blame on the current political chaos the country has inherited. The TPLF in turn has exploited one sore point with Ethiopia, the country was led two long periods, Haileselasse and Derg regimes both clean Amhara administration, this created a cluster of the ad community from local residents to senior political and economic figures. TPLF which took up arms to free people from oppression created again same trend and make the same historical errors. Many believed that EPRDF declaration about the country as ethnic federalism is fatal error and all risk factors are fulfilled and only the future will show the consequences but we are already in the future and we are witnessing that the central power cracked from top to toe. To elucidate more on ethnicity, let me collect some technical and past research on ethnicity. Though complementary in anthropology ethnicity has been treated mainly from two different perspectives. According to instrumentalist theory, ethnicity revolves primarily on a particular type of political organization where competition for scarce resources get kind of competition between ethnic groups. While, Primordialism emphasizing the ethnic group's mythos and allege historical continuity as a crucial factor for personal identity and affiliation. None of these theories alone is entirely satisfactory, but it indicates that ethnicity as whole at the same time have a strong emotional appeal and a strong political mobilization potential. In conflict, the combination can naturally be explosive. The most striking common denominator of virtually all ethnic minority situations in the world today is thus the modern nation-state as all minorities must deal with. Faced with the state's requirements for formal equality, it sometimes discriminatory practices require ethnic minorities and proto-nations worldwide varying degrees of autonomy from the right to practice their religion to full political independence in the UN Declaration of Human Rights states that all people have a right to a Nationality seen from a liberators point of view, this can be reformulated to all people nowadays are forced to be citizens of their own formed country. A nation is an ethnic group whose leaders whether gained or striving to achieve a state where this group is politically hegemonic. Nations that is normally obtains its legitimacy from ethnicity, and plants this ethnic identity of the nation-state symbolism and organization. Weak nations, some African nations like Ethiopia, failed to convince its members that they have a national community very often they can possible be based on existing ethnic communities, but instead tries to create a new one. The national identity they are trying to create lacks credibility because it is rooted in an ethnic community that populations refuse to participate in as a nation. But on the other way, each group appears increasingly as distinct ethnic groups. To argue this is also such multiple ethnic states to develop national community, as strong nations, they have a certain degree managed to succeed in convincing the majority of its members that they are a people and that citizens truly constitute a nation. Normally this comes to the point that a linguistic, religious or other historic communities as the basis for the nation, in other words, that they succeed in arguing that the nation is an old community, these values do not exist between Ogaden and Ethiopia. Like the modern ethnic groups use nations metaphorical kinship ideologies to legitimize itself and to demonstrate that they exist. These are ideologies which, like kinship ideologies emphasize horizontal solidarity between its members, which is based on the common origin it limits the scope of solidarity to the team members. To be continued please follow the next part of this article on Mohamed Dheeg

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

"I'm An Ogadeni Child" by Hodan M. Ugas.

I’m the voice of the voiceless
I’m the dream of the sleepless
I’m the tear that never dries
I’m an Ogadeni child

I’m the sister of the one that got hanged
I’m the brother of the one that got raped
I’m the daughter of the one that got burned
I’m an Ogadeni child

I’m the one that buried my child
I’m the one that watched my father cry
I’m the slave in the 21st century
I’m an Ogadeni child

I’m the one with the tortured soul
I’m the one with the tired mind
I’m the one with the blistered feet
I’m an Ogadeni child

I’m the one that refused to stop
I’m the one that marches and fights
I’m the voice of the voiceless
I’m an Ogadeni child

One Month On, a big Thanks to everyone!

By Moh'ed Hared.

Brother Maxamed-Amiin Wacdar today wrote to me and told me that our blog 'Occupied Ogaden' was actually one month old today. I was excited. It was a short period of time, but we've written, posted and shared a lot.

What made me even more excited was how it helped us recruit so many writers for this noble cause. God-willing, though, we'll do a lot more next month.

Also, I would like to thank each and every one of you for liking, sharing and commenting on our posts.
Keep up the good work! Let us all write this year! #TeamOgaden!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Bullet or Pen, any road to freedom should be taken

By Saadaq Mohamed

The world of politics is not as sweet as we think. And the road to free Ogaden is not as easy as we think. It's our job to sacrifice all, even our own soul to reach a full freedom. Ethiopia is using tactics beyond bullets to keep a tight grip on a land that is not theirs, it sees no people. So as the people who have been robbed off their motherland, oppressed to not move forward, killed and torched we should have unity, trust and collaboration with in us to get to a common goal by any means. a good one.

Execution of the most efficient plan is what we need to do and work on. Don't be a traitor to ditch the mission. It is not about choosing one side or another. It is about choosing freedom force, the ONLF which is fighting for freedom, justice and to claim what is righteously ours, the ancestral land, the Occupied Ogaden.

Our people in Occupied Ogaden are being enslaved to do work on behalf of the Ethiopian Regime. They need information and awareness, and that is why you don't have to hate them but, instead show them the big picture. Remind them of the past and show them a vision of a better future, the difference between freedom and Occupation. If you have sided with your long time and forever-willing enemy you are bound to be a slave in this time and age. Don't choose to be a xabashi puppet. As long as Ethiopia's illegal occupation exists in the Occupied Ogaden I vow not to rest, for I am told by the creator of this world ALLAH to defend and stand for what is mine. Keep that in mind. Shukran for reading. The slogan is Free Ogaden. And the mission is Janat Firdowsa.

 Saadaq Mohamed can be reached at

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Wa'ayo Dabaqoodhi?

By Abdirahman Hollywood

Weedha dabaqoodhi ayaa baryahan dambe noqotay mid aan xad lahayn, oo sidii la doono loo istimaalo (misused and abused). Waxaa jira shaqsiyaad farabadan oo aan garaneyn cidda loo isticmaalo ama qofka dabaqoodhiga ah. Mararka qaarkoodna kan isticmaalaya iyo kan loo isticmaalayo aysan waxba isdhaamin ama aysan garaneyn sababta uu midi isticmaalay ama midka kale loogu isticmaalay.  Tusaale ahaan ka warran hadaad shaqsi aan dhakhtar ahyn, dhakhtar ugu yeedho? Ama qof aan tuug ahayn, tuug ugu yeedho? Waa dhibaato, si marka aan ukala saaro dhabaqoodhiga iyo dadka kale waa inaan isla fahannaa macnaha weedhan iyo astaamaheeda.

Marka kowaad haddan dib u fiirinno taariikhda, weedhani ma'aha mid cusub, oo wey jirtay inta uu gumeysi ka jiray dhulka Ogadenia. Lakiin waxay soo shaac baxday horaantii 2001-2002 wakhtigaa oo uu abwaanka weyn ee Soomaaliyeed Maxamud Cabdilaahi Ciise "Sangub" uu bilaabay riwayaad halgameedka Ogadenia ee qurbaha. Hase ahaatee wuxuu isticmaalkeedu si aad u bilowday amaba qurbaha ku batay laga soo bilaabo 2006. Xiligaas oo gumeysiga Ethiopia dagaalkii halganka dibadda usoo rartay kadib markii ay guul darro weyni kasoo gaadhay gudaha Ogadenia iyo ciidamada Jabhadda Waddaniga Xoreynta Ogadenia. Taasoo ay sababi u ahayd markii shacabkii dibadda usoo baxay uu adduun weynaha gaadhisiiyey dhibaatada shacabka Ogadenia.

Haddaba haddaan af-Soomaali ku micneyno (ninbaa odhan jiray kala jarjar xarafka oo gawska dambe ka dhadhami) oon kala jarno, Dabo iyo qoodhi.  Qoodh waa qurux taasoo oo ka dhigan shaqsi qurxiyey shaqsi kale ama daba istaagay. Luuqadda English ka waa "Collaborator" oo ka dhigan shaqsi go'aansaday inuu maal, muruq iyo maskax ku biiriyo ama ku taakuleeyo cadawga ummadiisa (gumeyste). Isla markaana natiijadiisu ay ha'kad ama dhibaato ku keento halganka ummadda Soomaalida Ogadenia.

Noocyada dabaqoodhiga (Types of Collaborators)

Dabaqoodhigu wuu noocya badan yahay, iyaga oo kasiman sababta ay gumeysiga ugu adeegayaan ayey haddana ku kala duwan yihiin astaamaha iyo waliba qaabka ay gumeysiga ugu adeegaan.

Maal (hanti)

Qolyahani waxay doorbideen iney maalkooda ku taakuleeyaan gumeysiga, iyaga oo dana gaar ah kale. Inta badan shaqsiyaadkan waa xukun, maal ama magac raadis, iimaanka ayey la'ayahiin oo waxay isleeyahiin maalkan maal kale ha'idiin dhalo. Sidii ay Jigjiga, Nairobi iyo Dubai uga ganacsan lahaayeen ayey ku fakiraan oo kali ah, ummad iyo maato dan kama laha. Marka udambeysana isla gumeysigaa ayaa hantidooda afka ku shubta sidaa unbeyna fakhri ku noqdaan.

Tusaale: Waxaad arkeysaa Sheikh hanti fara badan leh, oo kharashka hotel (da), shirarka, iyo socdaalka gumeysiga iyo gumeysi kalkaalka bixinaya. Caruurta reer Ogadenia (na) ay xeryaha qoxootiga ama gudaha Ogadenia ay ku silicsan yihiin. Waxaa suurta gal ah inuusan zako kabixin balse uu Zenawi ugu deeqo (subxaanalaha).

Xagey Joogaan: Shaqsiyaadkan waxay u badan yihiin Africa iyo Carabaha. Waxaa kale oo laga helaa in kastoo aysan u badneyn London, Minneapolis iyo Melbourne.

Muruq (Xoog)

Qolyahani waxay iyagu gumeysiga ku taakuleeyaan muruqooda, inta badan waa dhadhama raac. Waxay u badan yihiin jaahiliin ama dad aan cilmi saas iyo cibaaro toona lahayn. Waxay yaqaanaan oo kali ah sida wax loo jaajuuso, wax loo khiyaano, wax loo dhaco, wax loo dilo. Waxay ku shaqeeyaan been iyo propoganda.

Tusaale: Waxaad arkeysaa shaqsiyaad intey uruuriyaan malitia la dagaalamaya kuwa gumeysiga diidka ah, doorbidayna iney xabbadda isku dhigaan.

Xagey Joogaan: Shaqsiyaadkan waxay u badan yihiin Geeska Africa gaar ahaan Ogadenia iyo Kenya.

Maskax (Cilmi)

Qolyahan waxbarashadooda ama cilmigoodu wuxuu u dhexeeyaa dugsi dhexe ilaa iyo heer jaamacadeed diini ama maadi. Inta badan waxay isugu yeedhan caaqiliin ama "Intellectuals" "Stakeholders" iyo wax la mid ah (Nasiib darro gabdhaha yar yar ee adhiga Ogadenia ku raaca ayaa ka aqli badan saa waxayba garanayaan macnaha gumeysi). Waxay cilmigooda ugu adeegaan gumeysiga, iyaga oo mar walba qora qoraalo ama maqaalo lagu dacaayadeynayo halganka. Waxaa loo isticmaalaa propaganda iyo in lagu bahdilo halganka. Halkudhigyada ay caanka ku yihiin waxaa ka mid ah "aduunku wuu isbadalay", "100 sano ayaa la soo dagaalamaayey","Qori intaan iska deyno aan qalin wax ku raadsanno","Annaga unbaa isdileyna" iyo qaar kaloo badan. Waxay aad ugu faanaan aqoontooda, nasiib darro awood umalaha iney shacabka Ogadenia kunool ee 90% aqoon la'aanta ah uga faa'iideeyaan kumana dhacaan (Aqoon lagu khasaarey iga dheh saa jaahiliinta Ogadenia jooga ayaaba farta ugu yeedha oo cilmigooda ay la hoostageen). Waxaa kaloo ay caan ku yihiin hoos udhigidda aqoonta madaxda ONLF iyaga oo ku tilmaama jaahiilin.

Haddaad dib u raacdo sababta ugu weyn ee qolyahani halganka uga soo horjeedaan ayaa ah isla weyni ku jirta iyo jecleysi in labuunbuuniyo oo meelaha laga sheeg sheego. In la tuso in loo baahan yahay, marka j'u loo dhihi waayeyna ay meelaha fadhi kudirika ka caytamaan.
Waxaa aad iiga fajiciyey qaar ka mid ah qolyahan oo iyaga oo da'yar laga qixiyey Ogadenia, kabidna Somalia ku barbaaray, schoola uga baxay. Dawladda heer sare ka gaadhay, qaarna dibadaha loo soo dhoofiyey oo heer jaamacadeed ku gaadhay, laakiin nasiib darro muddadaa aan dib u soo fiirin dhulkoodii. Maantana ku faanaya Ethiopiannimo iyaga oo iloobay xanuunkii Ethiopia iyo abaalkii ummadda Soomaaliyeed. Waxaa hubaal ah haddii maanta halganka lagu wareejiyo kuwan oo la yidhaahdo wada, ineysan talaabo qaadi karin, waayo waxaysanba xajisan karin tareenka halganka intey mukhaadaraad, maandooriyaal iyo qashin kale raadinayaan ayaaba laga tagi.

Xagey Joogaan: Shaqsiyaadkan waxay u badan yihiin waddamada reer galbeedka.

Tallo: Wakhti yuusan kaaga lumin kuwan, odhaah ayaa ahayd "Education makes the wise wiser and the fool more foolish"oo ka dhigan aqoontu ninka caqliga leh caaqil ayey ka dhigtaa, ka doqonka ahse weysii doqomeysaa.


Qolyahani malaha saddexda astaamood een kor kusoo xusnay (Maal, Muruq iyo Maskax) waxayna afka ka taageeraan gumeysiga. Waxay ubadan yihiin dad aan waxba qabsan karin, ama tacliin la'aan ha heyso ama tabar la'aani; intooda badan noloshooda qof kale ayaa gacanta ku haya. Saaka salaadii ayaa mukhaayad tayar ama kayar la dhihi kusii tuur, saq' dhexana waa laga soo tuuri. Reerkiisa xitaa war kama ha'yo, caruurtii oo school ku maqan ayuu subaxdii soo toosi, iyagoo hurdana wuu soo dheelman.

Intooda badan qabyaaladda ayey aad ugu dheereeyaan, si loogu arko iney yihiin rag balaayo ah ayey waxay ka agdhawadaan mid reerkooda ah oo ka mid ah kuwa aan kor kusoo sheegnay (caaqil). Dabeetana mukhaayadaha ayaa hadh iyo habeen halganka laga dacaayadeeyaa.

Xagey Joogaan: Qolyahan waxay u badan yihiin waddamada reer galbeedka.

Tallo: Wakhti yuusan kaaga lumin kuwan


Qolyahan iyagu waxay isku sheegaan mucaarad, waxay ku odhan annagu Ethiopia ma taageerno oo gumeyiga waan necebnahay balse halganka wax hallaga baddalo. Inta badan waxay ku mashquulaan madaxda ONLF siiba guddoomiyaha (Allaha dhowree) Admiral Maxamed Cumar Cismaan. Xogtoodu aad ayey u yartahay, waxayna caan ku yihiin halkudhigyada "Muxuu ninkani meesha isaga heystaa","Maa doorasho laqabto","We need change","Magaca haddii dhulka Ogaden laga baddali lahaa waan taareeri lahayn","ONLF hal qabiil ayaa iska heysta","Lacagta qaaraanka hadaan bixiyo yaa o'g iney meeshii loogu talagay tagi iyo in kale".

Qolyahan qabyaaladda ayaa aad ugu dheeraatay, ama tu qabiil ha'ahaato ama tu laf hoose ha'ahaatee. Waa xukun raadis, waxay tallada ama hogganka la jecel yihiin reerkooda, waxayna mucaaradaan cid alla ciddii aan reerkooda ahayn.

Waa eed ujoog, waxay jecel yihiin iney wax eedeeyaan waxayna farta ku fiiqaan wixii khaldan oo kali ah. Waxay u joogaan iney wax dumiyaan, ujeedadooduna waa yaan la idin dhihin wax qabta. Sidaa daraadeed waligood xal loo heli maayo.

Xagey Joogaan: Qolyahan waxay u badan yihiin waddamada reer galbeedka iyo geeska Africa.

Tallo: Wakhti yuusan kaaga lumin kuwan


Waxaan filayaa in astaamahaa kor ku xusan ay noqdaan kuwa inahaga oo inoo kala sooca shaqsiyaadka halganka dhibka ku haya iyo kuwa aan habooneyn in wakhti lagu lumiyo. Waxaana rajeynayaa iney inaga caawiso ineynaa cadawsan kuwa aan halganka dhib ku heyn.

Wabilaahi Towfiiq!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Understanding Ethiopia’s Culture War in the occupied Ogaden: a Meditation with Ngugi wa Thiong'o

By Nuradin Jilani In March 2009 the former bureau head of Information, Culture & Tourism of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia (SRS) Mr. Guled Casowe, who is now in jail charged with ‘crimes against culture and religion,’ told the VOA Somali Service in an interview that his ministry was planning to exhume the body of the Somali Dervish hero Sayid Mohamed Abdille Hassan from a graveyard in a place called Reegiito in Bali and rebury him in his old Fortress on the Sarmaan mountain of Iimey in the Somali Region (Ogaden). Mr. Casowe said two reasons motivated his mission: 1) To restore and preserve the cultural and historical legacy of the Sayid to Somali Region; 2) The tourism potential and development this would bring to the region in general and in the Iimey area in particular. He further emphasized that his ministry was interested in the cultural aspect of the Sayid and not in the armed liberation struggle history of which he was famous. To this end, the Somali Regional State had named a Conference Hall in Jigjiga, which service as the most important meeting place in town, after the Sayid: Hoolka Shirarka ee Sayid Maxamed Cabdille Xassan. It is now two years since that interview and the Sayid’s remains have not yet been found. The Somali Regional State seems to have given up its search as far as we know. To this day, the great man remains buried in mystery as he lived. The question is: why is the Ethiopian regime searching for the grave of the Sayid? Why do they want to rewrite his history? The answer is cultural control and manipulation. What is culture? The Kenyan born prolific writer and professor of literature, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, who is a man regarded as this century’s most eminent African cultural fighter, supplies the following apt meaning: “Culture is a society’s identity, consciousness, psychological survival and sense of belonging” (Moving the Center, The Struggle for Cultural Freedoms, p.77). Culture is also ‘collective self image’. “Culture carries the values, ethnical, moral, and aesthetic by which people conceptualize or see themselves and their place in history and the universe.” (Italics mine). Ngugi further writes in another essay: “To make economic and political control effective, the colonizing power tries to control the cultural environment: education, religion, language, literature, songs, and every expression. In this way they try to control people’s values, their world outlook, and self-definition.” (Writers in Politics, p. 36). Dr. Ngugi stands out from his peers for the way he tactically connects neo-colonialism’s economic and political control to its cultural manipulation in modern African and Third World countries. He argues whereas in the past colonialism used the school education system when they were in control of the territories to mould and control young colonized minds and inculcate in them their values and world outlook – a process he describes in the title of Bob Dixon’s book Catching them Young - it’s done today through the media, the arts and television. The end point is always the same now as in the past: to make the colonized – and the exploited - identify with the values, self-conception and world outlook of the colonizer. Once that is done and the colonized are made to identify with the values of those who’re plundering them, the rest of colonial dozes are easy to administer. Yesterday’s colonized children who are now adults with colonial minds and presumably running their ‘independent’ countries as grown-ups become eventually, since they have no distinct values of their own and have not crafted one, The Mimic Men V. S. Naipaul's so powerfully wrote about in his novel by that title. (Decolonizing the Mind, p.17). The murdered anti-Apartheid South African writer Steve Biko wrote about this phenomenon in his book, I Write What I Like, when he said: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”. These mimic men are then left to police their restive and hungry population while their resources are looted, absolving responsibility of wrongdoing for the ones who are actually doing the looting behind scenes. Not only that. The robbers can then cynically shout from the sidelines, “Have we not given you the independence you so desperately wanted? Don’t blame us for your failures.” Meanwhile, the raw materials still go to the same destination of the colonial era days, often returning in military hardware placed in the hands of the mimic men. As a result Africa’s development and prosperity has been arrested. And the result has been disastrous: it has produced a leadership whose conception of power and its exercise is modeled on colonialist practices (during colonialism uprising were put down and crashed), a leader who loses no sleep after annihilating thousands of his own people in crackdowns, and academic who thrives on writing learned treatises on the backwardness of his people. (Moving the Centre, P. 130). The colonial doses administered in childhood are reaped bitterly in adulthood in ways more subtle and unimaginable, and unless the mentally colonized child probes the process that went into making him ‘an animated puppet’ and a ‘mimic man’ and reconnect with his roots, in the process discovering that his history was not, as it was shoved down in his tender and unsuspecting mind, ‘one long dark night’ bereft of any redeeming qualities, and that, like all human-beings he had his highs and lows, unless he does that and get his self-confidence back, he will become that slave, which Ngugi so passionately wrote about, “who is happy that he is slave and fated to be slave forever”. As that great Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero summed up: “Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child”. In case my reader thinks I am a bit overboard and exaggerating - as the argument has it, our people are immune to this kind of mental slavery; they stand on the shoulders of great men and history - I suggest that you take a closer look at the conduct of so-called Liyuu Police who take pride in slaying their own people. These young, mostly uneducated rural men are handsomely paid and indoctrinated in such a way as to make them believe that what they are doing is right and just. In their training manuals, more time is spent on brainwashing them than preparing them physically for combat. At the graduation ceremonies of the new recruits, selected pro-government religious personalities, who are part of the indoctrination machine, deliver lectures about the virtues of fighting for and defending their country against aggressors - one of these religious mercenaries was recently comparing the Liyuu Police to the Sahaaba of Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and telling them ‘you’re Mujahedeen who will go to paradise if you fall in battle’! To grasp the severity of the situation further, one also needs to be acquainted with behavior of the Amharic speaking, beer drinking, Ethiopian Civil Service College trained cadres who are appointed by the TPLF to run the regional administration after they complete their political and cultural indoctrination. Men like the former “Culture Bureau Head”, Guled Casowe, who introduced to our region the now widespread act of videotaping the dead while dancing on top of them, the shameful practice of forcing innocents to admit crimes they did not commit on camera and circulating it on the internet, and the more sinister one which he was accused and charged with, that of luring young girls to perform sexual acts and recording them. Of course Mr. Casowe could not have done all these dirty things without the blessings – or rather actual participation - of his boss who later turned against him, the current president of Somali Region Mr. Abdi Iley, a man whose horrific actions words fail to describe. Men like Abdillahi Hassan “Lugbuur”, the former president Somali Region, whose job these days is to write low quality articles about how Ethiopia is a great ‘civilization’ and how Somalia was wrong to attack Ethiopian in the 1964 & 1977 war (clearly a case of brainwashed intellectual, if Lugbuur can be described as such, writing ‘learned treatises’ about the wrongness and backwardness of his people). Furthermore, listen to the arguments of the so-called learned ones amongst us who will tell you with no shame ‘we cannot govern ourselves’ in the event Ethiopia leaves our land – those that will say ‘there will be a civil war’ in a direct echo of our colonizers. Are they not subconsciously craving, in fact calling for, to be slaves forever? These men didn’t spring up on their own; they’re culturally corrupted system created men. The Sayid and his Dervishes fought against this kind of mental and physical slavery; they stood tall and proud in their land and did not accept any superiority over them except that of God. The sophisticated white European colonizers could not subjugate them. They fought bitterly to this end. A testament to their enduring legacy is how throughout the Somali inhabited lands of the Horn of Africa their rich struggle legacy remains scattered everyplace, in landscape and memory. Ethiopia’s attempt to “fossilize” the Sayid and reinvent him in a new form as a ‘Somali-Ethiopian’ cultural figure – which is an attempt at historical surgery to remove “those elements within him that constitute national consciousness” as Frantz Fanon put it in his discussion of Psychological Warfare – has two aims: 1) To kill the ‘idea of resistance’ which the Sayid and his Dervishes stood for in the consciousness of Somalis under Ethiopian colonialism and make them loose the inspiration the Dervish struggle instills on those fighting for freedom in Ogaden today and in the future; 2) To rob that beautiful history from the Somalis in general and make the Somali nation lose its historical anchor and the very idea that constituted its flag and national anthem, pan-Somalism. In a way trying to kill two birds with one stone. The Sayid and the legendary Imam Ahmed Gurey, who is now taught in Ethiopian history as one of theirs in a very negative way, stand for the ‘Idea of Somalism.’ More than any historical figures, these two heroes are identified as founding fathers of modern day Somalia. By Ethiopianizing these figures of Somali history, Ethiopia wants to remove the rug from the feet of present day Somalis and destroy their collective selfhood and image of the past together with their future. Whether they find the remnants of the Sayid and fossilize him into Somali-Ethiopian (an identity that doesn’t exist in reality) romantic cultural figure or not, he will remain forever buried deep in the psyche of Somalis, a genuine Somali hero with no Ethiopian appendix or prefix added to his name. (In case somebody interprets my argument as if I am saying the Dervish history does not belong to the Somalis under Ethiopian colonialism, I am not. I am saying it belongs to free Somalis or those who are struggling to free themselves. It is struggle and resistance history, one which cannot be claimed by slavish servants and spokesmen of colonialism.) If the Ethiopian regime is serious about giving the Somalis under its colonialism their history back, we may ask: why have they changed the old flag that had the Somali star on the side? Why have they made Friday a working day and Sunday a holiday in the predominantly Muslim Somali Region? Why have they changed the Sharia law into secular family law? Why temper with what constitutes Somali identity? And why, among the multitudes of ‘romantic’ cultural figures they can pick in Ogaden - such as Wiil-waal, Raage Ugaas, Qamaan Bulhan, and others - have they chosen the Sayid? And finally, why not teach in schools the struggle history of WSLF against the common Derg enemy of which the two parties, WSLF & TPLF, fought together? When all is said and done, one salient defiant attribute of the Sayid stands out and speaks for itself: he refused to surrender and submit to the British Empire even when he was defeated and his health was rapidly deteriorating. He knew that he lived for posterity and didn’t want to taint his legacy. He died holding the torch of freedom. And this is something that cannot be taken away him. Some Somalis are unwittingly helping in the distortion and destruction of their history. For example, the famous playwright and poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame (Hadraawi), could say with confidence that the Sayid was ‘a power maniac and dictator’, someone whose political side he did not like: "The poems [of the Sayid] I like are not political," Hadraawi said, adding it’s those "…about trees and stars, the rivers and rains and seasons…and camels" he prefers, to a reporter for Newsweek Magazine who came to Somalia to establish the link between Osama Bin Laden and Sayid Mohamed Abdille Hassan! (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - Newsweek Sep 30, 2009). We can understand the attitude of Guled Casowe when he says he wants to do away with that part of the Sayid he doesn’t like, but how can we comprehend Hadraawi’s logic? Also, the education departments of regional administrations in Somalia deliberately undervalue the rich historic contribution of the Dervishes in the struggle for freedom in Somalia. Perhaps I am naïve to expect those who mourn the death of Richard Cornfield at the hands of the Dervishes to valorize those who killed him! Coupled with this is the new assault on the person of the Sayid by some of Somalia’s so-called ‘revisionist historians’ who copy and paste biased British propaganda characterizations of the man and pass it as learned historical treatises. To underscore the importance of historical figures, recently Greece and Macedonia were at loggerheads over a statue that had resemblance to Alexander the Great which the latter country had built in the center of its capital city Skopje, even though Alexander was both Greek and Macedon in ancestry. The long drawn-out battle between Ethiopia and Italy over the return of the Axum Obelisk is another example. The still on-going clashes between Thailand and Cambodia about the ownership of a Buddhist shrine in the un-demarcated border area that separates the two countries is another case in point. Poor Somalis! Geel ninkii lahaa dhacayo side looga dhiciyaa? Abdulahi Macalin Dhoodaan If the Sayid was deceased historical figure who cannot speak for himself now to set the record straight, though his legacy does that, the living Ogaden poet Abdillahi Macalin Dhoodaan is another figure who was made to repudiate his intellectual and poetic contribution to the struggle for freedom in Ogaden. Not long ago Dhoodan was made to take part in a self-degrading propaganda play against the ONLF which featured Somali women chewing Khat and performing immoral acts. Dhoodan’s vocation these days is to insfult ONLF leaders in public speeches and composes low quality poems against the struggle and is a regular guest in security related tours by regional politicians to the provinces. Prior to his coups de grace, Dhoodan was a firebrand poet who has contributed immensely to the freedom struggle in Ogaden and the molding of a distinct Ogaden national consciousness using the medium of oral poetry – which was at time the most potent means of communication - to motivate, stir up, and agitate our masses against colonialism. The intellectual manipulation method of making influential people in the struggle – past or present - repudiate their previous nationalist stances and turning them against it was recently best described in our case by a perceptive Kenyan analyst, Andrew Koriri, in article he wrote about the so-called ‘peace deal’ in Ogaden, entitled Yet another 'peace deal' in Ogaden. Koriri says this method is called “The Utility of Turns” and its one which has been used effectively throughout history to discredit opponents: “Throughout the history of mankind, converts have been used to show the superiority of one’s religion, idea or system. ‘Turns’ are a vital expression of triumphant power, proof that a cause is convincing and potent. So, by fronting ‘ex-ONLF’ men who have discarded their ‘wrong’ ideologies, the regime in Addis Ababa hopes to show that the ONLF is pursuing a lost cause. That is also another reason why it is imperative to import men from the Diaspora; men who may or may not have anything to do with ONLF, and parade them to the local and international media to prove the quandary in which the ONLF is in.” Currently this method is used more on the cultural front than on the political. Since 2009 famous Somali singers who espoused the idea of self-determination for Ogaden were lured into Ethiopia and made to sing songs in praise of the Ethiopian regime. Thus Mohamed Saleebaan Tubeec whose memorable song Geesiga dhulkiisa guusha u horseeda made thousands of Somali youth throw themselves into Ethiopian tank fire in 1977 war was paid to sing another tune in praise of the very enemy that was tormenting his people in different guise. Cadar Axmed Khaahin (April 2010); Nimco Dareen (June 2011); Waayahay Cusub (September, 2011) are some of the bought singers who were in the struggle or sympathized with it before they became ‘turns’. Waayaha Cusub were specifically known for their outspokenness against Ethiopia, more so since Ethiopia’s invasion and occupation of Somalia in 2006. Their memorable songs – titles such as Gumeeysiga Itoobiya, Soomaliyaay Diriroo Dagaalama, Dabadhilif - are hard to erase from conscience of the Somali youth. But I admit it had a demonizing effect on some. Trust in people who carry nationalist message is as result severely wounded. The profession of singing has been made to suffer as singers are portrayed today as conscienceless people who are only after money. One wonders why Ethiopia is singling out in its ‘turns’ policy the anti-colonial historical (either dead or living) cultural figures and singers, specifically those who are most vocal against them. If they were interested in romantic cultural figures, why not attract individuals who sang love songs instead of those in the struggle? By enlisting the service of these previously nationalist singers, the regime in Ethiopia hopes its brutal colonial practices in Ogaden would appear cool and acceptable to the people. In other words they’re formalizing ‘the culture of subservience’ as Ngugi put it in one of his arguments - something which is new to our centuries old conflict with Ethiopia. Ultimately it’s ‘the idea’ they are after, as that perceptive Kenyan writer Andrew Koriri said. And since ideas are espoused by people, their strategy is to kill the idea by rewriting the message of its carriers in the past in a new placatory form, and corrupting the image of its present carriers by using all-means-necessary approach to achieve it. But ideas outlive individuals. I can only say ‘it is too late’ to those who have discovered at this late stage that our people can only be made to accept their rule when they are culturally destroyed. Some Somalis may be brainwashed to lose their self-respect and identity temporarily, but the spirit of Somalism can never be annihilated. Finally, as there is in every colonized society a ‘culture of subservience’ formalized by the occupying power, there is also a counter ‘culture of resistance’. And for that we are thankful to those resisting damnation in our struggle for political, economic and cultural freedom in Ogaden. The Author, Nuradin Jilani can be reached at

Art and the Somali culture in Ogaden

By Margrit of the African Art work.

Here is my new watercolor painting, still work i n progress, the beautiful Somali woman from the Ogaden, Ethiopia. From an early age on, as child I was captivated by the African people and their art. As an adult I got at my work in intense contact with the African culture, their artifacts and music and I became more and more fascinated by the beauty, strength and vitality of the people. My African art embrace the poetry of nuance and gesture and show the extraordinary diversity of cultures. Then there is the incredible variety of African jewelry and adornment. They inspired me to create my own jewelry line where every bead is a precious gift from ancient times and every necklace is unique in its own. The African tribes with their marvelous body decorations, their beautiful jewelry, their stamina and strength, love for music and dance continue to inspire me…. I hope you love my paintings the same way I do and will follow me on my future passages

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Life's Worth by Hodan Heello.

What is life worth if one hasn't lived freely?
What is life worth if one is in constant pain?
What is life worth if one has never seen a light of day?
What is life worth if one can’t feed their child?
What is life worth if one can’t live peacefully?
I live a sad life
For I watch my people die
Everyday one by one
They are voiceless and powerless
They lack basic human rights
They stand for right
Yet only wrong is done to them
May Allah help my people
The people of the Ogaden region
For they have suffered enough
Free Ogaden… Free Ogaden!

The author, Hodan Heello can be reached at