African Rights Monitor
Human Rights Council
Forum on Minority Issues
5th session. Geneva Palace of Nations, 27-28 November 2012
Problems and difficulties encountered in the practical implementation of
African Rights Monitor-ARM is a non-profit and non-political organisation for the
protection of human rights that monitors humanitarian and security situations in
countries in the Horn of Africa.
I am speaking at this Forum to shed light on the worsening situation of the Ogaden
minority, a Somali group in eastern Ethiopia. This group has been marginalised and
their basic rights violated. This includes the right to self-determination, despite
it being enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution.
Behind closed doors, he Ogaden province
the final word and civilians are paying
are refusing to allow the international
United Nations and NGOs are not able to
packages and medication is hampered and
has become a battleground where the army has
a heavy price. What s more, the authorities
community access to this province. The
do their work properly, the delivery of food
does not reach those in need.
In 2008, the International Committee for the Red Cross as well as the Swiss MSF were
forced out of the the region and since then, despite numerous requests to return,
have not been granted re-entry by the government. Instead of facilitating the
implementation of the Forum declaration, the government has done the opposite by
imposing a number of controversial laws such as the law against terrorism, applicable
to anyone not adhering to government policy. It has also imposed a law placing any
NGO receiving over 10% of their budget from abroad in the foreign organization
category, prohibiting them from working in the human rights field.
The severity of the security and humanitarian situation in this eastern Ethiopian
province and the particular attention it requires, means that the declarations from
this Forum have until now been ineffective. We ask the Ethiopian State to lift the
siege imposed in and around Ogaden so that the civilian population may exercise their
rights. We also call for the mobilisation of the members of the United Nations and
their organisations, including this Forum, to end the suffering of this group and
ensure the respect of their most basic human rights, and the implementation of the
declarations from this Forum.
Thank you for your attention.