Ethiopia. Once synonymous with starving children and deadly droughts, the country is today a bastion of stability in the turbulent Horn of Africa. Landlocked between unruly Somalia and despotic Eritrea, it has become a darling of Western powers and an paragon of economic development. Except: According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, because of a war you’ve likely never heard of, 413,400 Ethiopians are internally displaced.
Since 1994, separatist movements in the Southern region of Ogaden, which borders lawless Somalia, have been waging war against the Ethiopian government. What started as an attempt to unify Ethiopia’s Somali region (Ogaden) with Somalia has ballooned with a handful of other armed groups joining the action. Which makes determining the battles lines difficult — multiple ethnic and separatist groups are in play.
Maybe the international community isn’t ignoring the problem but has bigger fish to fry. Somalia, their neighbor, has suffered an Islamic insurgency from the deadly extremist group al-Shabab. Or maybe they just have no idea what’s going on. The government has labeled separatist groups like the Oromo Liberation Front as terrorists and forbidden journalists and NGOs from visiting the region.