Report from the Ogaden: “20,000 held incommunicado”

This report comes from an activist whose family comes from the Somali region of Ethiopia.


Detainees20,000 inmates are believed to be held incommunicado throughout the Ogaden territory.

Most of these inmates are the local population who were thought to be sympathetic to Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF.)

However, many of them were residents in the neighbouring countries, Djibouti and Somalia’s autonomous states (Somaliland, Puntland, Galmugud, SouthWest state, etc) and Mogadishu, who were transferred to Ethiopia with the help of the Ethiopian security operating in Somalia and Djibouti and Ethiopian embassies and consulates in Djibouti city, Hargeisa, Garowe, Badao and Mogadishu.

Most of those political inmates were jailed by Abdi Iley after false confessions.

In 2005, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, the Ethiopia-appointed Regional President of Ogaden, which is officially named ‘Somali Regional State of Ethiopia (RSE)’, then the head of the Security Forces of the Somali militias launched a massive counterinsurgency campaign in the Ogaden regional state with the goal of wiping out the ONLF.

In his brutal campaign, Abdi Iley sent tens of thousands of people to the notorious camp better known as ‘Jail Ogaden’ in Jigjiga, about 80 kilometers east of the city of Harar.

He is the only person who can be authorise access to the jail.

Abdi Mohamoud Omar holds also the post of the Chief Commander of Liyu Police, which clearly shows the importance attributed to this shameful, repressive institution and to the destructive role it plays within Ogaden.

Abdi Mohamoud Omar (Abdi Ilay) holds a meeting with every fresh graduate; in the brief discussion, he offers his dark advice to the graduates, asking the well-trained forces to “indoctrinate the women with the male phallus and the men with guns”.

The notorious Liyu Police, a paramilitary combat force, was founded on 5 May 2005 and are trained in Garab’ase military barracks of Jigjiga, Capital of Ogaden.

Abdi Iley has built his core power base on members of his own Reer Ali Yusuf sub-clan of the Ogaden clan, who make up 1 percent of the Ogaden population.

Reer Ali Yusuf – percent of the population He receives the support of the Ethiopian Generals stationing in the provinces of Harar and Qorahay of the Occupied Ogaden region.

The commander of Special (Liyuu) Police Abdirahman Laba’gole arrested nearly 100 people from Djibouti on January 20, 2011.

Sanyare and another cruel colonel called Muktar Suubane are the two special assassins that Abdi Iley uses for high-profile killings and often go after refugees in Kenyan camps and elsewhere.

My younger brother who was deported from Saudi Arabia was among of them.

He tried to enter into the Ogaden and he was arrested by the Somali militia that he has always adored them.

They asked him to get off from the truck and arrested him from the border town of Tog Wajaale (Wajaale) and took him to Jigjiga prisoner, which he served 9 months before he and 800 others were released following a pardon by Abdi Mohammed Omer.

Sanyare and another cruel colonel called Muktar Suubane are the two special assassins that Abdi Iley uses for high-profile killings.

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