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Watch: Ogaden – Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame


By Graham Peebles

Ethiopia is regularly cited by donor nations as an African success story. Its economy is growing, they cry, more children are attending school and health care is improving.

Well, GDP figures and millennium development statistics reveal only a tiny fraction of what is in fact a corrupt and violent picture.

What development there is depends, the Oakland Institute says, on “state force and the denial of human and civil rights”. The country still ranks 173rd out of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index, and around 40 per cent of the population live below the extremely low poverty line of USD1.25 a day – the World Bank worldwide poverty line is USD2 a day.

The ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), uses violence and fear to suppress the people and governs in a highly centralised manner. Human rights are ignored and a methodology of murder, false imprisonment, torture and rape is followed.

Read Aloud:   Convergence or Divergence?... A political consensus on Mr. Gebru’s Book.

The ethnic Somali population of the Ogaden, in the southeastern part of the country, has been the victim of extreme government brutality since 1992. It is a familiar story of a region with a strong identity seeking autonomy from central government, and the regime denying them that democratic right.

In 2013 and again in 2014 I visited Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and met a number of people who had fled state persecution in the Ogaden. Men and women told of false imprisonment, murder and torture. All the women I spoke to relayed accounts of multiple rape and sexual abuse; defected military men confessed to carrying out such appalling crimes.

We filmed the meetings and put together a short documentary, Ogaden: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame. Most people have never heard of the region and know nothing of what is happening there.

The purpose of the film is to raise awareness, of what human rights groups describe as a genocidal campaign, and to put pressure on the primary donors – America, Britain and the European Union, countries that collectively give around half of Ethiopia’s federal budget in various aid packages, and whose neglect and indifference amounts to complicity.

Read Aloud:   ESAT Radio: August 16, 2013 (Audio)

The film records the distressing stories of three extraordinary young women, Anab, Maryama and Fatuma


  1. This is another sad story to grace East Africa simply because the USA and the good doers or so called donor nations are making millions while the poor are being killed by their mercenary government aka TPLF!!!

  2. GETACHEW REDA (Editor Ethio Semayy)

    When partisan document or partisan reporters, ythey made me sick to my stomach. Do really these reporters of this document who ever they are also know how ONLF is similarly and equally committed crime against Ogaden and Amhara people like TPLF does? Yes. they do. These are armed group with no court of law. Kill and torture and disappearance and intimidation;___ all these are the character of all Liberation fronts inside the jungle of Africa/ethiopia/Somalia/Eritrea.

    Though, I am not disagree that TPLF /Somali TPLF puppets did not carry torture and murder against Ogaden Somali civilians, which of course is the trade mark of all jungle freedom fighters like TPLF/ONLF/EPLF/Alshabab, but we have also to be careful not to let ONLF criminals free from the crime they involved doing the same crime this film is trying to show. Such propaganda needs both side of the story too. Look this Silent cry documentary filmed by three London Somali students produced and later regretted how they were hoodwinked and manipulated and fooled by ONLF. I am also afraid this document is also similar like the Silent cry which the entire world was tricked.

    See the following document first
    then see how the producers also were regret their document was a hoax apologize the wold for fooling the glob with a false and hoax document.

    They are now wanted to be murdered by the criminal ONLF. Now, we have to ask, will this document also a genuine one? Why also did not show the crime of ONLF together if really the document was partial and not produced by ONLF supporters or sympathizers? WE have the right the right to ask as we are the people asked to watch their document? Is that not right? We are sick of partial reporting. Stop fooling the wold. We need ICC to drag ONLF/TPLF/OLF/EPLF for their crime. enough fooling lying to the glob. Time the people demand all criminals head to ICC. Can you be angry on me after seeing this “Silent cry” document winch was completely a criminal way of preparing document o fool the world? Who can we believe after seeing such hoax. I am just raising a question to ONLF officials if they have an answer to such document of Silent cry.

    I know they have no answer, because they know they got caught lying and distorting faulse stories. WOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I mean these are all Muslims with a gun. why would they participate in lying and distortion. Do not the ONLF scare their Alah indeed if they are Muslims indeed as they claimed? Many young Ogadenians were hoodwinked all over the world after the movie silent cry was made. Still these youngsters do not have any information how they were tricked to watch such document. It is just a crime against Alah.
    Getachew Reda *Editor Ethio Semay)

    Regional State Of Ethiopia “Fact Or Fiction” | Full Film

  3. @Getachew

    When you say this report is partisan well let me ask you who’s fault is it? when the government crack down on independent media and journalists both local and international. this region is closed and no international agencies or media can gain access to local people. And thousands of somalis are running away from their homes to live in a refugee camp, let me ask you are these people tourist taking holiday? we want hear the truth that is why we have to smuggle in international journalist to show reality on the ground, journalist like martin schibly because tplf want hide their crimes.

  4. Bottom line

    ONLF is destroyed by its own clan Ogaden (Liyu
    Police )

    Peace , Dvt and tranquility is achieved in the region . You can go at any point in the region with no escort.

  5. @gud

    Peace,development and tranquility you say and I’m wondering if you know the meaning of those words.The somali region is a war zone which is why countries like us and uk issue multiple travel warning to their citizens not to go to somali region every year. When ever tplf officials come they come by airplane with hundreds liyuu police waiting for them at the airport to escort them to the hotels. finally if things are calm and everyone is living in peace then there is no reason to ban independent media to report the development and tranquility you talking about.

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