Somalia Monitoring Group Accused of ‘Legitimizing Torture’

Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Mr. Daawud Ibsaa,

The Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Daawud Ibsaa, accused the United Nations (UN) Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (MGSE) for its “flawed” methodology in its report associating OLF with a plot to bomb the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

The Chairman said the Ethiopian government of Meles Zenawi has always tried to falsely link the OLF with alleged terrorist plots. He accused the UN group of interviewing Ethiopian government sources while denying the OLF the right to respond.

Daawud said the witnesses and evidence used in the UN report were “directed and couched by agents of the Ethiopian government.”

“Given the track record of the (Ethiopian) regime’s systematic torture of detainees in order to extract false confessions, admitting such confessions as evidence is tantamount to legitimizing the act of torture itself” declared the OLF Chairman.

Both armed groups in Ethiopia and the Meles government in Addis Ababa blame each other and the media of using “manufactured evidence” to accuse each other of abuses and terrorist activities. Earlier this week, the Ethiopian government accused BBC of using supporters of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebels as witnesses and evidence of human rights abuses committed by the Meles government in the Ogaden region.

Trapped in the middle of these politics and conflicts are innocent civilians in Oromia and Ogaden. Millions of Ethiopians from these two regions currently need emergency aid to survive a food crisis that has been aggravated by the conflict between government and rebel forces.