Human rights | Agriculture - Nutrition
Ethiopia's Ogaden rebels issue famine alert
"The Ogaden as with most Horn of African regions is under the grips of severe draught," according to a statement by the Ogaden Liberation Front (ONLF) forwarded to afrol News. The ONLF is fighting a low-scale war for independence in Ogaden - a south-eastern region termed the Somali Province by Ethiopian authorities.
But access to the Ogaden region is limited for international humanitarian agencies and FEWS and UN agencies mostly rely on information provided by the Ethiopian government making their food security assessments. Government has not issued a particular alert for the Ogaden (or Somali) region.
According to the ONLF rebels, this has its reasons. They claim government is actively using the hunger card to fight the rebels. They claim government troops have "occupied the few water wells in the region, preventing people and livestock from using the wells."
"Furthermore, the troops are preventing the UN agencies to mount the necessary relief operation," the rebels say, claiming to have "reliable sources" ascertaining that UN agencies had "provided the resources and equipment needed, but the Meles Zenawi agents in the region are misappropriating the funds and preventing UN staff to go beyond the regional centres, while maintaining the aid embargo in Ogaden."
The ONLF ended its statement by sending an "urgent appeal" to the international community "to mitigate the effects of this draught by forcing the Zenawi Regime to allow unfettered access to Ogaden." Otherwise, the ONLF warns, "the 1984 catastrophe in Ethiopia could be repeated."
The ONLF "urgently appeals to the international community to take effective measures in order to save the people in Ogaden," the appeal ends.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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