A statement issued two days ago by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) makes state of a secretive agreement signed between the collapsing East African country and the illegal, secessionist pseudo-state of Puntland setup by criminal gangsters, thieves and drug-dealers on part of Somalia´s territory around Garowe. The news spread fast through VOA reports and articles (http://www.onlf.org/voa052008.htm).

The development consists in a grave degradation of the status of Law in the International society. Extradition is the official process by which one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal. Between nation states, extradition is regulated by treaties (definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition ).

Illegal Puntland Not Entitled to Extradite

An illegal and unrepresentative authority the existence of which contravenes the Constitution of a UN member state (in this case, Somalia) is not entitled to any act, much less a most controversial issue of the International Law and International Politics like the extradition of citizens of another country.

The issue takes far greater dimensions as one of the world´s most failed states, Abyssinia (fallaciously re-baptized as ´Ethiopia´), is reported to have entered into a deal with the illegal state of Puntland, therefore extracting benefit through a sheer violation of the International Law.

Blatant ´Ethiopian´ Disregard for the Status of Law in the International Society

The case is extremely serious, as it bears witness to a blatant disregard of the status of Law in the International society from the part of a totalitarian, terrorist state, ´Ethiopia´, that has been repeatedly denounced for appalling violations of Human Rights, involving particularly torture, incommunicado, extrajudicial killings, and even carpet-bombing of villages.

For those who are not well versed into the stipulations of the International Law, an outline of the issues involved can highlight the uncivil, lawless and inhuman attitude and policies of the terrorist state ´Ethiopia´.

First, a UN member state cannot enter into deals pertaining to International Law issues with an illegal and non-recognized authority (as only states are considered actors in International Law). Doing so, ´Ethiopia´ triggers justified reprisals of all sorts, further contributing the regional turmoil and destabilization.

Requirements for Extradition

Second, any possible agreement – even if made between illegal authorities or a UN member state and an illegal and unrecognized state – must abide by the International Law. As mentioned in the aforementioned entry of Wikipedia, an extradition treaty requires in general that a country seeking extradition be able to show that:

1. The relevant crime is sufficiently serious.

2. There exists a prima facie case against the individual sought.

3. The event in question qualifies as a crime in both countries.

4. The extradited person can reasonably expect a fair trial in the recipient country.

5. The likely penalty will be proportionate to the crime.

Many countries, such as Mexico, Canada and most European nations, will not allow extradition if the death penalty may be imposed on the suspect unless they are assured that the death sentence will not subsequently be passed or carried out.

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, also known as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe in 1950 in order to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, is still the only international human rights agreement providing a high degree of individual protection. More in detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights .

Article 3 prohibits torture, and "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". There are no exceptions or limitations on this right. This provision usually applies, apart from torture, to cases of severe police violence and poor conditions in detention. The entire text can be found here: http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm .

The European Court of Human Rights has further held that this provision prohibits the extradition of a person to a foreign state if they are likely to be subjected there to torture. This article has been interpreted as prohibiting a state from extraditing an individual to another state if they are likely to suffer the death penalty. This article does not, however, on its own forbid a state from imposing the death penalty within its own territory.

Take ´Ethiopia´ to the International Court of Justice

Third, the violation of the International Law by ´Ethiopia´, a UN member state, should be considered as a serious threat by all the neighboring states, and more particularly Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen and Sudan. To put an end to the appalling record of violations of Human Rights carried out in ´Ethiopia´ and at the same time cancel the illegal deal for extradition and cause a detrimental damage to the two signatory members, at least one of the aforementioned states should demand the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice on this issue.

It is very clear that the illegal agreement for extradition falls within the competence of the Court, which is specified in the Chapter II of its Statute; I quote here articles 34, 35 and 36 that stipulate all the competence - related issues ( http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=2&p3=0#CHAPTER_II ); article 36, 2b, makes the case very clear.

Article 34

1. Only states may be parties in cases before the Court.

2. The Court, subject to and in conformity with its Rules, may request of public international organizations information relevant to cases before it, and shall receive such information presented by such organizations on their own initiative.

3. Whenever the construction of the constituent instrument of a public international organization or of an international convention adopted thereunder is in question in a case before the Court, the Registrar shall so notify the public international organization concerned and shall communicate to it copies of all the written proceedings.

Article 35

1. The Court shall be open to the states parties to the present Statute.

2. The conditions under which the Court shall be open to other states shall, subject to the special provisions contained in treaties in force, be laid down by the Security Council, but in no case shall such conditions place the parties in a position of inequality before the Court.

3. When a state which is not a Member of the United Nations is a party to a case, the Court shall fix the amount which that party is to contribute towards the expenses of the Court. This provision shall not apply if such state is bearing a share of the expenses of the Court

Article 36

1. The jurisdiction of the Court comprises all cases which the parties refer to it and all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or in treaties and conventions in force.

2. The states parties to the present Statute may at any time declare that they recognize as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other state accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court in all legal disputes concerning:

a. the interpretation of a treaty;

b. any question of international law;

c. the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation;

d. the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international obligation.

3. The declarations referred to above may be made unconditionally or on condition of reciprocity on the part of several or certain states, or for a certain time.

4. Such declarations shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the parties to the Statute and to the Registrar of the Court.

5. Declarations made under Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and which are still in force shall be deemed, as between the parties to the present Statute, to be acceptances of the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice for the period which they still have to run and in accordance with their terms.

6. In the event of a dispute as to whether the Court has jurisdiction, the matter shall be settled by the decision of the Court.

At this point, I republish integrally the revelatory statement of the ONLF, which must sound as an alarming warning for all East African neighbors of the lawless state of ´Ethiopia´ and the illegal ´authorities´ of the Puntland Mafia . (http://onlf.org/onlf_statement0508.htm). After the ONLF statement, I quote the ONLF objectives that bear witness to the very nature of the organization as a rightful, representative, and democratic Liberation Movement that only terrorists like criminal Dictator Zenawi could possibly characterize as ´terrorist group´ (http://www.onlf.org/objectives.htm). The absolute concordance between ONLF statements, declarations, acts and deeds is reconfirmed by all the Humanitarian Agencies and NGOs committed to the relief of the tyrannized Horn of Africa populations.

ONLF Statement On Secret Pact Between the Puntland Regional Authority & Ethiopia

The Puntland regional administration of Somalia has entered into a secret security agreement with the Ethiopian regime in which Puntland has agreed to transfer private citizens from Ogaden and any ONLF officials who enter Puntland to Ethiopian security officials. In exchange, the Ethiopian regime has agreed to provide arms and military training for Puntland authorities in clear violation of the United Nations arms embargo on Somalia.

Dozens of Ogaden Citizens are now being arrested throughout Puntland in an ongoing crackdown against our people who have fled Ethiopian persecution to seek refuge in the regional state. At least five private citizens of Ogaden have been confirmed to have been transferred to Ethiopian security officials after being arrested in Galkacyo on the 1st of May 2008. This follows the detention and forced transfer to Ethiopian security forces of two ONLF Central Committee members in Garowe on April 22nd, 2008. Those individuals who have been transferred by Puntland to Ethiopian security officials face a real risk of torture and possibly execution.

The ONLF wishes to note that the ongoing crackdown in Puntland has created an inhospitable environment for our people fleeing Ethiopian persecution. As such, the ONLF calls upon international human rights organizations to closely monitor the plight of our people in Puntland. We further call upon the international community to take all necessary measures to safeguard the well-being of our people who have fled Ethiopian persecution and currently reside in Puntland.

The ONLF wishes to reiterate that the Puntland authorities bear sole responsibility for the consequences of the path they have chosen.

Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) - 5 May 2008

Fundamental Considerations Of The ONLF

1) The Ogaden cause is not at the heart of a dispute between the Republic of Somalia and Ethiopia. It is one of the visages of European colonialism in Africa. It is the cause of a nation betrayed by Britain and other colonial powers and annexed by Ethiopia in a manner contrary to the agreements concluded between the Ogaden people and Britain and in conflict with International Law and the charter of the United Nations.

2) The struggle of the People of Ogaden and the aim of their movement is to obtain the right of self-determination, rather than a struggle aimed at realizing the identity of a nationality. This is because Ogaden has never been historically or politically part of Ethiopia.

3) The revolution of the People of Ogaden is based upon their absolute rejection of the unauthorized disposition of their territory by the British Government; and subsequently on their constant appeals to obtain the right of self determination based on the principle that the people of Ogaden alone reserve the right to determine their political future.

It is moreover based on the charter of the United Nations and its resolutions, which call for the elimination of colonialism and on the declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1960; and on the sixth principle supplemented to the United Nations Charter regarding the elimination of colonialism.

4) The Ogaden National Liberation Front (O.N.L.F.) is a vanguard organization leading the struggle of the people in an appropriate revolutionary manner; making use of the experiences gained from other liberation movements free from any kind of foreign pressure and intervention.

5) The ONLF adopts the long-term popular war and independent frontal resistance, supported by the mobilization of the people and their initiatives as the foundation of it's struggle.

6) The program of the ONLF shall be carried out by a combatant cadre carefully selected among its ranks with special emphasis on their political maturity, personal conduct and extent of their relation with the national struggle.


Picture: Thugs serving Garowe Mafia and terrorizing local Somalis, this is the Puntland reality.