Date: 14th September 2012                                                                 Ref: OHRC/PR01/2012

PRESS RELEASE

OGADEN: MAKING PEACE NECESSITATES TOTAL RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

On September 08th 2012, Ethiopian government spokesman and an ONLF press release confirmed that the two warring parties were engaged in preliminary peace negotiations which took place in neighbouring Kenya.

The Ogaden Human Rights Committee welcomes wholeheartedly, the peace talks between the Ogaden National Liberation Front and the Ethiopian Government and hopes that it will result in stopping the bloodshed and gross human rights violation which are taking place in the Ogaden region on a daily basis.

The Ogaden Region has been a virtually closed military zone for the last eighteen years, where bloody battles were being fought between Ethiopian armed forces and combatants of the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

The Ethiopian government’s policy in the Ogaden is based on; deliberate economic strangulation, political marginalization and use of brutal military force to suppress all   legitimate demands from the population including the inalienable right to self-determination.

We believe there is strong correlation between human rights and peace/conflict as human rights abuses might cause armed struggle and armed conflicts exacerbate human suffering.

The Ogaden conflict is not different from other conflicts in the world, which the international community has been involved and committed to resolving as a mediator or facilitator. The last conflict in Africa, which was resolved through negotiation with the help of the international community, was the war in the Southern Sudan. The conflict in the Ogaden deserves the attention and the positive intervention of the international community.

The Ogaden Human Rights Committee believes a negotiated settlement modelled on Naivasha agreements which solved the Southern Sudan conflict can be the best solution for the protracted conflict in the Ogaden.

The two warring parts must show good will and take all necessary confidence building measures.

In this regard, the Ogaden Human Rights Committee Committee recommends and requests the following:

Ogaden Human Rights Committee
www.ogadenrights.org
E-mail: ohrc@ogadenrights.org