DSCN2226 300x225 Ogaden People’s Rights Organization participates the 31st regular session of the Human Rights Council & Appealed to halt the illegal Ogaden oil deal between Ethiopia, Djibouti and China.Ogaden People’s Rights Organization (OPRO)


31st regular session of the Human Rights Council (29 February to 24 March 2016).

Palais des Nations.

Geneva, Switzerland

Appeal to halt the illegal Ogaden oil deal between Ethiopia, Djibouti and China.

March 22, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen,

We would like to draw your attention towards the oil deal that has been reached by the Chinese, Ethiopian and Djibouti governments on the grounds that this deal is not only contrary to UN Conventions but that it threatens the nomadic lives of those who are forced to flee as a result. The Ethiopian army has embarked upon clearing large swathes of fertile land for oil exploration whilst preventing civilians from returning to their ancestral lands by confiscating their livestock. The Government has planned a security perimeter closure of 700km2 that the nomadic communities and their livestock have no rights to enter despite this being the only means of subsistence for nomads.

This project which plans to transport Gas from the Ogaden to Djibouti and from there to China and to the Ethiopian central town of Hawash does not benefit those entitled to benefit from those recourses, it is a clear act of exploitation. It will only add to the security, humanitarian and ecological problems that already exist in the Ogaden.

The Ogaden Somali region does not have a free and fair regional government, rather, it has one which facilitates the mass crimes committed by the central Government. Though the Ethiopian Constitution says that all resources belong to the Federal Government and nations and nationalities have no words on them, this is contrary to what the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights signed in 1993 by Ethiopia states. Part one of Article two says:

“All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence“.

Civilians have been subjected to mass murder, torture, rape and entire villages have been razed to the ground. Up to 400,000 internally displaced civilians have already been reported. Trade restrictions and the expulsion of aid agencies have only exacerbated the humanitarian catastrophe. Ethiopia has rejected dozens of recommendations from UN country members, including carrying out an independent investigation on human rights abuses and allowing for all humanitarian agencies to work freely in the Ogaden. The Ethiopian government has shown no interest in cooperating with UN Human Rights bodies, especially the Treaty Bodies, including the implementation of Treaty Body recommendations.

The Patronas and Lundin oil companies have withdrawn from the region after recognizing that the Ogaden region is characterised by instability and war. We encourage the Chinese owned POLY-GCL Petroleum Group and Black Rhinos companies to do the same.

We recommend the following:

That the Ethiopian Government opens the Ogaden region allowing all humanitarian agencies including the ICRC and MSF Suisse to work freely whilst dismantling the Liyu Police Militia.

Human Rights Council to nominate special rapporteur for Ogaden.

Human Rights Council member states specially the EU, UK, USA and other Ethiopian donors, to pressure Ethiopia, Djibouti and China to halt this project until the humanitarian problems and human rights violations in the Ogaden are resolved.

UN, Djibouti and China to participate in seeking a peaceful solution on this issue.

UN resettles the internally displaced to their original localities.

Thank you.


Email: ogadenpeoplesrightsorg@gmail.com



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