[This article was published in the 12th issue of Nida'ul Islam magazine (, March - April 1996]

The spokesperson for external and media relations for the Mujahideen in the Islamic Union in Ogadin writes on:

The progress of The Jihad Movement in "Ogadin"

(Note: Click here for a more recent interview with
the Spokesperson of the Islamic Union in Ogadin)

About Ogadin

It is situated to the south east of Ethiopia, having Kenya on its south, Somalia in the east, and Djibouti to the north.

It is inhabited by 6 to 7 million Muslims, there being not a single Christian or idolater amongst them. They speak Arabic in their educational institutions, and their local dialect is Somali.

Its area is approximately 650,000 square kilometres.

Ogadin has a tropical climate. It has perennial rivers such as the "Wabi Shbily river". And it is also greatly endowed with a large animal population.

The entry of Islam into Ogadin

Islam entered this area with the first migration of the companions (r.a.a.), when it was ruled by AlNajashy who embraced Islam at the hands of the migrant companions. The people of the area have since always practised Islam. Islam reached its zenith in the area in the year 90 ah when the Just Islamic princedom was established. Its capital was Harare which continues to be regarded by the people of the area to this day as their historic capital. This princedom fell in the year 1887 with an incursion by the Portuguese, the Italians, and the Ethiopians. Through this incursion, the final Islamic Princedom ended in the area. Through it also, a new age had commenced with the rule of Christians over Muslims.

The Jihad Movements

Jihad movements rebelled from time to time against the colonialist crusaders, the most prominent of these:

  • The Drawisen movements of 1900 under the leadership of Mohammad Abdullah Hasan who was able to resist the English and the Christian Ethiopians at the same time. His resistance ended in 1925 at the hands of the English.
  • The Nasrallah movement which struggled against the enemy until 1966, and realised some gains, although it was not crowned with victory.
  • The Western Somali Front movement which was able to liberate 95% of the lands of Ogadin. Then the Russian interfered in 1977 in the biggest foreign intervention by the Soviets since the Second World War, thus turning the battle to the advantage of the Christian Ethiopians.

    This battle ended with the 1977 Ogadin war, and it seems as if history is repeating itself, everytime the Muslims attempt to eject the occupying Christian forces, the European crusaders interfere.

    The refugee Crisis

    Following the quelling of the 1977 rebellion, large numbers of refugees from Ogadin fled to the neighbouring Somali republic to escape the vengeance of the Ethiopians. These refugees remained in Somalia for 15 years, during which they had open access to the external Muslim world. Their camps became centres for Invitation to Islam. So they founded schools and colleges, and the youth of the refugees went to the Islamic Universities.

    After the collapse of the Somali government in 1990 ad, and the commencement of the civil war in Somalia, the refugees returned to Ogadin, carrying the banner of the Islamic revival, "Lest you hate something whilst it is better for you" [2:216]. This revival was spread through Da'wa to the masses of people, inviting them to once again embrace Islam, and relight the Islamic flame wich had burnt so brightly before. So the people inviting to Allah began teaching others, "Allah Most High said:" and "His Messenger (s.a.w.) said." So the public streets changed with women choosing to wear the veil, and the youth adhering to their faith, the mosques were filled, as did the religious schools, to the extent that the fears of the Crusaders were aroused again.

    The Islamic union in Ogadin

    When the Mujahideen of the area were in Somalia, the youth of the revival from amongst the children of the refugees who had graduated from universities, colleges, and mosques, formed a movement with the aim of inviting people to Islam and to coordinate the movement of Da'wa in the camps, then to strive to carry this Da'wa to their mother land in Ogadin after returning to it. On their return to Ogadin in 1990 ad, the movement well and truly progressed to fulfil its role as planned.

    Introduction: The union is a Da'wa and Jihad movement which was established to co-operate with its members on loyalty and piety, and to invite and struggle in the path of Allah.

    Through the union taking the Book and the Sunnah in accordance to the understanding of the righteous predecessors, they rely to achieve their aims on the tools of Da'wa, education, and Jihad in accordance with the Islamic Shari'a.

    Its aims: The raising of the word of "There is no god except Allah, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah" and the establishment of the Law of Allah on the Earth.

    The Islamic Union began their Da'wa effort in the area alongside their welfare projects, realising through this the difficult situation underwhich the Ogadin people are living, being at the mercy of the Ethiopian Christians with extremely bad living standards, and the spread of illiteracy to the worst extent.

    The Christian Ethiopian enemy which knows that the strength of the people lies in their knowing their religion, has oppressed and stopped the progress of Da'wa.

    The ruling Ethiopian Tekray front

    The Tekray front which resigned comfortably on the throne of Ethiopia since the fall of the Ethiopian dictator Munjito Hila Silasy in 1991. descends from the Tekraya tribe which has approximately 3 million members. This tribe resides in the far north of Ethiopia. The Tekray are Fundamentalist Orthodox Christians who do not even permit peaceful coexistence with other religions. Another contemporary example is to be found in the Serbs who belong to the same religion, and who are slaughtering our brothers and sisters in Bosnia -Hercegovina.

    What is amazing is that the Tekrays are the only race in the world who have a holy city in their province which no Muslim is allowed to enter. It is for the Christians only. Further, one of their rulers in the middle ages had passed a law of severing the tongue of any person who says "There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah".

    The Christian betrayal of the Islamic Union

    After the Christian enemy saw the spread of the call to Islam in the area at the hands of these youth, they launched a surprise attack on at the domicile of the callers to Islam in the village of Halawy during the dark of night. The Christian forces killed 26 inviters to Islam, amongst whom was their leader, and wounded 60, and arrested 15 others. It also closed the schools, mosques, and centres where the youth used to teach. This surprise attack occurred on 12-8-1992.

    The stages of the struggle through four years

    The first stage, from the attack until the end of 1992 was a stage of provocation and attempts by the transgressing Christian enemy to wipe out the Muslims completely. However, they met with failure through the grace of Allah Most High, and secondly through the efforts of the Mujahideen as they firmly resisted the enemy.

    As for the second stage, from the beginning of 1993 until its end, the enemy attempted to create a civil war between the Mujahideen and the general Muslim population, as they called for what they framed as self rule for Ogadin.

    This plan also failed because of the understanding between the people and the Mujahideen, who understood very well the hellish plan which had been weaved around them.

    The third stage began with the start of 1994 when the Ethiopian Christian government requested other Christian countries to interfere militarily in Ogadin, and to attempt to completely wipe out the Mujahideen. So America and Eritrea became directly involved in the battle between 1-4 and 20 June 1994. This stage saw the American jets take off from the Indian Ocean bombarding the Mujahideen positions for hours at a time, whilst the Eritrean soldiers were firing their fixed cannons and tanks at the domicile of the Mujahideen. As for the Ethiopians, they acted as foot soldiers only. The Ethiopian Minister for defence called this attack as the trinitarian 45 day strike.

    However, this also met with failure with the grace of Allah firstly and because of the plan of the Mujahideen secondly which worked through not entrenching themselves in one particular place.

    The fourth stage began at the onset of 1995 when the Christian enemy for the first time since their murderous attack in 1992 proposed the idea of a cease fire with the Mujahideen for a period of six months. This was increased to nine months at the proposal of the enemy. The Mujahideen agreed to this proposal in the interest of Da'wa, which is the main benefit of a cease fire, and in consideration of the situation of the Ogadin people who have been severely hurt through the wars which has lasted for one and a quarter century.

    The renewal of fighting in the area

    On 15 October 1995, the battles began afresh between the Mujahideen of the Islamic Union in Ogadin and the Christian Ethiopian government following the collapse of negotiations for extending the cease fire which stretched over a month. The reason for the collapse of the negotiations was the obstinacy of the Ethiopians who insisted on the ending of the cease fire indefinitely.

    On the footsteps of this, the battles, confrontations, and operations began. These confrontations reached 20 during the period 25 October and 13 December 95 during which seventeen Mujahideen were martyred and six were wounded, whilst 145 of the enemy soldiers were killed, two military trucks, and one government factory were destroyed.

    The statistics

    The losses of the Mujahideen during these four years reached 330 martyrs, 75 wounded, 400 orphans, and 180 widows.

    As for the enemy, they have lost two thousand soldiers, whilst four thousand had been wounded in addition to large material losses.

    All Gratitude to Allah who has fulfilled His promise, and succoured His Mujahideen slaves n

    By Br. Rashid Mohammad Husein
    [Spokesperson of the office of foreign affairs and the
    media for Islamic Union of Mujahideen in Ogadin