Foto: SVT

In English: A wave of atrocities against villages in Ogaden


The task force that arrested and wounded the Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson in Ethiopia are now accused of widespread abuses in the Ogaden province.

SVT Nyheter publicerar här en översatt version av artikeln ”Våg av etiopiska övergrepp i Ogaden” som publicerades tidigare i dag.

SwedishTelevision’s Africa correspondent Johan Ripås has become privy to furtherdocumentation, smuggled out of Ethiopia. The video evidence shows that wholevillages have been emptied of inhabitants through executions and mass flightfrom terror.

–These atrocitiesare well known in Ogaden. But no proper evidence has reached the world untilnow, says Abdullahi Hussein, a defected Ethiopian civil servant who smuggledout the material.

The taskforce accused of these atrocities is called the Liyu Police or Special Police.The unit was formed three years ago to combat the separatist rebel group ONLF.According to information obtained by Swedish Television, the Liyu Police hassince spread terror in the Ogaden province by mass executions of civilians.

–They have deliberately recruited unemployed youths from the streets tothe Liyu Police. These have then been drilled in carrying out executions, saysAbdullahi Hussein.

On May 16th 2010 ONLF reportedly carried out a major attack against a LiyuPolices camp in southern Ogaden. Retaliation followed the next day. Early onthe morning of May 17th the Liyu Police came to the village of Malqaqa in thesame region. The locals were accused of having helped ONLF, and the task forceopened fire on the unarmed villagers.

Swedish Television has met an eye witness to the event. Bashir Alimanaged to escape the bullets.

–They split up into smaller groups, advanced methodically and gunned downeverybody in sight. I counted 73 dead, says Bashir Ali.

The Liyu Police are headed by thepresident of the Ogaden region, Abdi Muhammed Omar. In the video footage thatwas smuggled out you can see the president visit the neighbouring village of Malqaqa.Several representatives of the village talk to the president and thank him forcoming. An elderly man suddenly grabs the microphone and speaks his mind aboutthe attack on his village.

–Since the Liyu Police came,lots of people in our villages Galaashe and Malqaqa have been murdered. Peoplehave fled and many are missing. Old people as well as young.

Abdullahi Hussein was present onthis occasion and can be seen next to the president in the video footage.

–The old man was immediatelyarrested by the Liyu Police, on the orders of the president. I don’t know whathappened to him. I just saw how they led him away.

Abdullahi Hussein says, that at leastone hundred people were executed in the village of Malqaqa during a couple ofdays in May 2010. There were probably many more. On the video footage that wassmuggled out you can see that the houses in Malqaqa now stands empty andabandoned.

You can also hear members of the LiyuPolice desecrate a civilian they have just killed. They stomp on his head andpoke his face with a stick.

–They gathered several people in themonastery of Malqaqa and stoned them to death, says Bashir Ali who escaped theattack.

The human rights organization HumanRights Watch has recently received witness accounts of similar events.

–We haveevidence that three villages were attacked by the Liyu Police in March 2012.Many men were executed, and several men were arrested and detained arbitrarily,says Laetitia Bader of Human Rights Watch.

AbdullahiHussein now lives in exile under constant death threats after having smuggledthe evidence out of Ethiopia.

–The worldmust know. I did what every person would have done after seeing what I haveseen, says Abdullahi Hussein.

Lokal. Lättanvänd. Opartisk. Ladda ner appen nu!

Hämta SVT Nyheter i App StoreLadda ned SVT Nyheter på Google Play

Så arbetar vi

SVT:s nyheter ska stå för saklighet och opartiskhet. Det vi publicerar ska vara sant och relevant. Vid akuta nyhetslägen kan det vara svårt att få alla fakta bekräftade, då ska vi berätta vad vi vet – och inte vet. Läs mer om hur vi arbetar.