Ridwan Hassan Sahid awoke under a pile of corpses to a pricking sensation on her face. Ants were biting her eyelids and the inside of her mouth.
The pain, however, brought relief to the 17-year-old. "I thought, 'I'm alive,' " she thought as blood oozing from rope burns around her neck. Fearing that the Ethiopian soldiers who had left her for dead in a roadside ditch would return, she brushed away the ants and shut her eyes, then slipped back into unconsciousness.
The brutal assault and her escape mark a chilling story to emerge from an unfolding but hidden tragedy in eastern Ethiopia.
Ever since exiting colonialists arbitrarily stuck a triangle-shaped wedge of land with 4 million ethnic Somalis inside Ethiopia's border, violence and suffering have plagued the region. Now, many of them have been caught up in a nasty war between the Ethiopian government and a separatist group known as the Ogaden National Liberation Front, which gets little media attention. (Full)
Picture courtesy Cristina Alaman (Interaction.org). Source: International Aidworkers Today