African Rights Monitor
Human Rights Council.
Forum on Minority Issues.
24th and 25th November 2016
Respecting the rights of minorities as a way of preventing or mitigating the impact of humanitarian
African Rights Monitor (ARM) is a non-political and non-profit human rights organization that
observes humanitarian and security situations in the countries of the Horn of Africa. ARM intervenes
in this forum to shed light on the degrading situation of the minority of Ogaden, an Somali ethnic
community in eastern Ethiopia.
Among other reasons, a lack of good governance, respect for human rights and the absence of the
rule of law can lead to a humanitarian crisis. One of the main factors leading to repeated
humanitarian crises in this province is the war that has been going on for decades and the lack of a
peaceful resolution approach. The province of Ogaden has become a field of battle in which the
army has the last word. Civilians in general, and particularly women pay the highest price since rape
is used as a weapon of war.
The humanitarian and security crises in the Somali region of Ogaden were noted in 2007 by a joint
UN team. Since then, humanitarian and security situations have only worsened. And there has not
being any visit by the UN or independent human rights organisation or the media, neither any
recommendation from member countries of the Human Rights Council to improve the Ogaden are
accepted by the Ethiopian government.
In countries where armed conflict exists, such as in Ethiopia, respect for the rights of minorities must
go through a peaceful resolution of the conflict, negotiated between the state and the armed
opposition. The United Nations in general and this forum on minority issues should encourage and
support any beginning of peace negotiations in order to avoid unacceptable suffering of civilians.