Feb 20, (2013 (QOL)
According to a recent interview with the
Swedish Expressen Newspaper, Mr. Keith C. Hill the president
and CEO of the Canadian based company Africa Oil stated
that his company signed a contract with the Ethiopian government
to explore oil in the Ogaden.
region that the same Ethiopian government is committing
gross human rights violations, and imposed a humanitarian,
economic and trade embargo. While simultaneously unleashing
a scorched earth campaign of collective punishment against
the civilians, causing the deaths of thousands and displacement
of millions. An act many human rights groups in fact consider
a hidden genocide.
Therefore, we Qorahay Media Journalist Group pose the question.
Is Africa Oil unaware or deliberately ignoring the Ogaden
As an independent non-profit organization that is dedicated
to report from inside the Ogaden, we are more knowledgeable
than anyone about the realities on the ground. Thus, we
would like to reiterate and remind Africa Oil that the Ogaden
is a conflict zone that is currently unsafe to explore.
The Ogaden has been completely isolated from the rest of
the world as independent journalists and free press are
prohibited. The only media allowed in the Ogaden are the
state owned television and radio, which serve as a propaganda
tool for the regime.
As the media blockade in the Ogaden continues our inside
correspondents have sacrificed their lives to report from
the Ogaden at the risk of been caught and a possible long
term imprisonment or death. Independent journalists often
face the danger of been arrested and charged with terrorism
to discourage reporting the realities on the ground.
Therefore, we urge Africa Oil Corporation and its affiliates
to halt all oil exploration activities, as this will only
exacerbate the already dire situation and could further
fuel the conflict causing more innocent lives.
It wasn’t long ago when Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration
Bureau a Chinese oil company ignored the plight of the Ogaden
people and refused to consider warnings and recommendations,
later costing the lives of 9 Chinese workers and many Ethiopian
military guards. The same mistake made by PETRONAS and Petro-trans
but this time losing millions of dollars after discovering
that it was impossible to explore any oil in the Ogaden.
We believe that the Africa Oil Corporation could learn
from past mistakes made by other oil companies, and instead
play an active role in achieving peace and stability in
the Ogaden by pressuring the Ethiopian government stop its
crimes against the civilians in the Ogaden.
Furthermore, we recommend the Africa Oil Corporation play
a leading role in resuming the stalled peace negotiations
between the ONLF and the Ethiopian government. We strongly
believe that a genuine comprehensive peace agreement between
the aforementioned parties could bring an ever-lasting peace
to not only the Ogaden but the entire horn of Africa.
Lastly, we call upon the Canadian government to encourage
Africa Oil Corporation reconsider its decision to explore
oil in the Ogaden at the expense of innocent lives.
Qorahay Media Journalist Group
Head-quartered in Nairobi Kenya Qorahay Media Journalist
Group is a national non-profit organization dedicated to
report from the Ogaden and in the horn of Africa in general.
Halkan ka dhagayso
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