Ethiopia: Is Djibouti interfering in the Ogaden-Afar Internal-Conflict?

Somali region accuses militia from Afar of killing hundreds of civilians in an attack. The Somali regional admin spokesperson Ali Bedel told Reuters that the militia carried out a “massacre” Saturday in a contested area known as both Gedamaytu and Gabraiisa” (Garowe Online, 27.07.2021).

The Issa-Somali militia is now verified to interfere in parts of the Afar Region. That has happened after the massacre in the Somali region over the weekend. This is an reaction to this and directly retaliating at the forces of Afar.

Issa-Somali has done this after the Afar Special Regional Forces and Liyu Police attacked massacred and looted Gedamaytu and Gabralisa.

What is more striking is that there is unverified reports that the Djibouti government is arming and helping the Issa-Somali militia, which have now crossed from the Somali region into Afar region. The Issa-Somali is targeting pastoralist areas of the Afar. Towns and woredas who has been contested between the Ogaden and Somali region.

The Djibouti interference would be striking, as the Addis Ababa have a working relationship with Djibouti. They are allies and the Djibouti government have easily transferred or deported Ethiopian nationals without any hesitation. Also, directly causing more harm in the border regions of the state of Djibouti.

As the Somali region youth have already been reported to block the railway and roads that goes into Djibouti. Which is the biggest trading partner and the biggest port of the landlocked Ethiopia. This is a beneficial relationship and that’s why you could wonder what the government of Djibouti would earn on arming a militia within Ogaden and going into Afar. Unless, they are planning to send these to target the Tigray Defence Force (TDF). However, that is just mere speculation.

The Issa-Somali is now fighting together with Somali (Ogaden) Regional Special Forces in the Afar region. This just shows how fickle things are and you can wonder what is up. As they are targeting Afar tribes men in general. Then, they are doing this to annex land to the Ogaden region. Which has been an issue for years…

We can just wonder if Djibouti is arming the Issa-Somali militia. If they are… then its yet another country involved in internal conflicts within Ethiopia. That’s a sign of weakness. For someone talking so dearly about being sovereign. The state is not only attack by foreign forces of the likes of Eritrea. Who has still annexed some land in Tigray. While Djibouti could use this an opportunity as well to get their stake in as well.

That is only, if this is true, which we don’t know yet. We know the Federal Government would lie about that. Also, about the rise of Issa-Somali as well. They wouldn’t come out and say that Regional Special Forces would be used for this either. That would hurt the pride and strength of the Prime Minister. Who has to look great and gallant at all times. Peace.

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