For the last three years, members from the Ogaden American Community in Minnesota and Ogaden Youth & Student Union, have been working in collaboration with several organizations on collecting and documenting the stories of individuals that have faced torture, abuse, arbitrary arrests, and rape, at the hands of Abdi Mohamed Omar, current brutal President of the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
Abdi Iley is responsible for the creation of the Liyu Police, a paramilitary force responsible for executing brutal policies against civilians. Several victims have come forward and have identified that Abdi Iley has directly committed and ordered acts of violence against civilians. This has resulted in the banning of Abdi Iley from entering the United States and any assets he has in the U.S will be ceased.
Local human rights activist, Farxaan Ahmed spearheaded this project. He worked closely with Human Rights First, Freedom House, The Center for Justice & Accountability, enough, Human Rights Watch, and Transparency International. These organizations assisted in collecting and documenting the stories of the victims.
Ethiopian state sponsored violence against Ogaden civilians is institutionalized through state policies and entrenched within their military doctrine. The Ethiopian administration in the Ogaden treats the Somalis in the Ogaden as second class citizens in their own country, exploits the country for economic gains and deprives the Ogaden people of their fundamental human rights.
Banning Abdi Iley from entering the United States is the first step to holding him accountable for the gross human rights abuses he and his administration have committed. It is the first step to bringing justice to the thousands of innocent civilians that have suffered at the hands of his brutal administration. Human rights activist in the Ogaden and in the diaspora are committed to uplifting the voices of the victims and seeking justice through all possible avenues. It is of the utmost importance that the international community further investigate the human rights violations taking place in the Ogaden, and more specifically to further investigate Abdi Iley and his administration.