Western Funded Genocide: Ethiopia and the Ogaden

KPFA News, 07.04.2011:  Ethiopian troops are  in the oil rich, contested Sudanese Abyei region, in accordance with a new UN Security Council resolution invoking sovereign nations "responsibility to protect" vulnerable populations from genocide and mass atrocities, if their own governments aren't protecting them.   But, human rights investigators say that the Security Council is ignoring Ethiopia's own genocide, in the Ogaden Basin, and, that the West is funding it.  



KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Landau:  In Africa, with South Sudan's independence from the Northern government of Omar al-Bashir only five days away, the division of oil revenues, demarcation of new borders. and the future of the disputed, oil rich Abyei region remain unresolved.  The U.S. has dispatched Ethiopian troops with the approval of a UN Security Council resolution "authorizing the use of force to protect civilians and humanitarian workers in Abyei.” But, veteran African journalists say the Ethiopian troops are actually protecting U.S. and allied oil interests. The same journalists join Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations in saying that the U.S. and the Security Council are tolerating an ongoing genocide in Ethiopia's own Ogaden Basin.  KPFA's Ann Garrison has more.  

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Thomas Mountain of Eritrea, is a Counterpunch, Global Research, Foreign Policy, and AfrobeatRadio contributor, and, one of the only independent reporters in the Horn of Africa.  He says that Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi's troops in Sudan are in fact, U.S. and allied enforcers:

Thomas Mountain:  Ethiopia is the U.S. cop on the beat. They're enforcers; they're gendarmes, which is a critical part of U.S. foreign policy. They use local forces so that they can have their dirty work done, and hold up their hands and say "Look; our hands are clean."

KPFA: Mountain, and others, including Human Rights Watch, and veteran Africa journalist and human rights investigator Keith Harmon Snow, say that the U.S. and UN are tolerating genocide against the people of Ethiopia's own Ogaden Basin.  The Ethiopian government, they say, has blocked food and medical aid to millions in danger of starvation, amidst a drought worsening in much of East Africa, so as to weaken the Ogaden National Liberation Front fighting for independence from Ethiopia:  

Thomas Mountain: Because of a major drought, millions of Ethiopians in the Ogaden are starving. There's also a counter insurgency that's been going on for about 10 years, where the people have risen up against the marginalization and the brutal military occupation tactics of the Meles Zenawi regime that's in power in Ethiopia. So the Meles Zenawi regime has blocked food aid.  They've kicked the Red Cross and the Doctors without Borders and other aid agencies out of the Ogaden and are blocking food aid to the millions of starving people in the Ogaden.  And Ethiopia, of course, is the largest recipient of Western aid in Africa, receiving about seven billion dollars a year. So this is a western funded genocide in the Ogaden that's being completely ignored by the Western media and the Western governments, even though they know all about it.

KPFA:  The UN Resolution approving the dispatch of Ethiopian troops to Sudan invoked the international doctrine that sovereign states have a "responsibility to protect" populations not being protected by their own governments. The doctrine was formalized by UN Security Council Resolutions 1674 and 1894, in 2006 and 2009, on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Neither has been invoked to protect the people of the Ogaden.

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

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