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Ethiopia: Nile water dam construction project hurts the Somali people in Ogaden Region
The Ethiopian Security forces imposed on the Somali Nomads in Ogaden Region to pay 50 U.S dollar per person for a fundraising what they call the "Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam" this comes after Ethiopian federal government and Ethiopian- appointed Ogaden regional administration took seriously implementing for the controversial Nile Dam project. It is not clear how a people that live on less than $1 a day could pay that large sum of amount.
"We could not afford to pay 50 U.S dollar per person, therefore the Security Forces are stealing our animals. We are unhappy for this as it is a legalized extortion",Said Fatumo Omar, a mother of five and a resident of Degahbur Province of Ogaden region.
Almost any single family in Degahbur Province,about 158 KM South-Eastern of Hargeisa,Somaliland has been confiscated their livestock. We are hearing also villages and main towns of Ogaden region including the surrounding villages of Fiq,Werder,Korahay,Gode and degahbur have been stolen their animals by the security forces.
" At least 23 sheep and goats along with 2 men have been arrested in Hargeisa in mid October last year by Somaliland Police",said a kinship of the animal owner that declined to be named for fear of reprisal.
She added that the number of the livestock that stolen was about 85 and belonged to Mohamoud Abdi Deg, a resident of La'nta Hawada, Hargeisa, that sent his livestock for watering and postures into Gurdumi, Ogaden region.
The stolen livestock is believed to be sold in the market of Hargeisa and the arrested two men are being investigating by the Somaliland police and will likely to be brought in front of a court.
Ogaden Region, which is home to about 8-10 million Somali ethnic population that lives on its goats, sheep and camels is a dry semi-desert region, with low bushes providing what fodder the animals need. It should be a peaceful nomadic region, but this is a region living in fear. Ethiopian Troops patrol the villages and have bases in the main towns. Over the past 5 years repeated atrocities have been inflicted on the local people, who are accused of supporting the liberation movement, the Ogaden National Liberation front.
This is not the first time that Ethiopian Security forces confiscated the animals belonged to Ogaden nomadic villagers but over the last 5 years the Ethiopian Security forces have been confiscating the livestock, of course slaughtering for food largely because of villagers are suspected of providing food, water and information for the Ogaden National Liberation Army, The Group's army wing.
But Regional commentators believe that 50% of the money that is taken my people in the region is looted by the Ethiopian generals that stationed at Ogaden Region ,while the rest is yet unknown where it goes since the Somali people in Ogaden region have no clue the Ethiopian politics .