Opinion: Will PM Abiy act righteous for the Ogaden region?
We have seen how the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defense Force (EPRDF), the coalition government, which have selected Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) own man as Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali. He has been on a peace-mission and been visiting and signing agreement with Eritrea, been in Djibouti and even made engagement with the Federal Government of Somalia. However, with his connections and peaceful endeavors. There is one piece now missing.
As the EPRDF and the TPLF have tried to amend with the opposition of the Oromia and the Amhara. But the Ogaden/Somali Region haven’t been taken care of, where the Oromo or the Queero “The Youths” have been used to annex or to further control the region. That seems more plausible, as the oil production started in late June 2018. This will be an important source to the foreign exchange and revenue for the state, as the economy of Ethiopia haven’t been that strong of late. They need this more than they will ever say in public. Would make any reason to secure the oil and gas resources in the Ogaden.
We know the state are doing what they can to get control over the situation of yesterday, as they have cut electricity, internet is down and even water was cut. Therefore, the 1000 of soldiers, ceasing of the Jigjiga. Only thing that was working was the telephone lines. The day after the fatal day of Heego and looting, shows that the army isn’t there, but the Liyu Police has taken over. Still, this is not a certain situation. To close these basic needs of after the hostile takeover yesterday, isn’t coming in peace, but showing supposed strength. Not trying to fix the issues or even address the mischief.
The Prime Minister Abiy if he can clear the air between him and the Eritreans, he should be capable to do the same for the Ogaden. If he doesn’t have a plan to takeover the Ogaden and make that a giant colony of the Oromo. I don’t think that is wise idea and will only hurt the moves for peace and national reconciliation that is needed after all the protests from Amhara and Oromo. Now the same violent and deteriorating activity is happening in Jigjiga. Where they are feeling the same sort of pain, that the others has done.
Abdi Iley, the leader of the Heego is reported to be under house arrest. While there is not certainty what is really happening in the city. As the major buildings was ceased and the Regional Leadership have lost their power in a way. Since the hostile takeover yesterday.
We don’t know how many who died, as there been various reports of both police officers, soldiers and civilians dying as a result. All these deaths are tragic, as their lives was cut short because of naked ambition from both parties. The control of the Ogaden, the control of the oil and own will to reign supreme.
We have to hope this will not escalate, as this is bad enough as it is, and the oil curse has hit Ethiopia. As the greed and the lack of service delivery are hitting the government. They feel left behind, as the oil and gas production have appeared and the Somali Region wants their fair share. That is obvious, as well, as the EPRDF shown disregard for the Somali public.
Hopefully, there will be movement and signs of progress, but right now, it is just a hostile takeover of Jigjiga and lack of reasoning from the EPRDF. The EPRDF and PM Abiy should meet and greet with the Ogaden/Somali Region leadership, try to work the issues out like gentlemen. Not just send the army to takeover the area, like it is war. That is just unreasonable and disgraceful, just like cutting of basics for living like electricity and water. Peace.