Thousands of people have fled from Ogaden Region after the Ethiopian regime unleashed a crackdown and collective punishment campaign against the civilian population in its battle with independence-seeking movement, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) especially after the ONLF asked a referendum according to the Transitional Charter of 1991.
As a result, majority of the rural population have become Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) inside Ogaden, while many of them fled to neighboring countries. Those who remained in Ogaden live in desperate condition without any access to basic services or peace for themselves and their animals. Their misery is further compounded by the constant violations they encounter from Ethiopian government army and allied Liyu Police militias. They frequently get detained, tortured, and their little remaining livestock constantly confiscated.
I have managed to interview several people whose livestock was confiscated. One of them is a 56-year old woman
from Fiiq area named Fatima Ahmed who fled the Ogaden and currently lives in a neighboring country refugee camp.
“There was a severe food shortage in Fiiq,” said Fatima Ahmed, the 56-year-old mother whose family livestock had been confiscated. “Ethiopian troops came, took away my livestock and slaughtered them for food.” “That Regime made our lives horrible,” she added.