Djibouti: President Ismail Omar Guelleh letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the killings in Dire Dawa (09.08.2018)
I write what I like.
The Federal Government ordered its military Force in Jigjiga to attack and take over the Somali regional Administration. This unilateral act resulted in Loss of Life and has endangered the law and order of the Ogaden, creating chaos and uncertainty at a time the Somali people were expecting to get peace and their rights.
ONLF believes that any transitional change in the Somali region shall come through a peaceful negotiated process where all relevant stakeholders including ONLF, the Federal government, and all other relevant stakeholders. Any entity that take unilateral act, that could jeopardise the situation will be responsible for consequences such an act produces.
ONLF calls upon the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia to halt immediately any military activities and initiate a peaceful process, including direction negotiations with ONLF, which would lead to a national conference where a peaceful road map for change in the Somali region is charted and the future course of the Somali people’s cause is decided.
ONLF calls upon the Somali people in Ogaden to stand up for their rights and never allow external forces to decide their fate. However, religious shrines and the properties of civilians shall be protected against opportunist individuals.
ONLF also laments the continuing fighting alone the borders of the Somali Oromo borders. This will further exacerbate the future relations between these neighbourly communities.
All ONLF members in the Ogaden shall endeavour to stabilise the situation and call for calm and peaceful engagement with all authorities and educate the people to respect the lives of minority communities, state and private property and Religious institutions.
Issued by ONLF.
The Federal Government of Ethiopia, have ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to ceased the regional parliament building in Jigjiga, while also taking over others buildings too. This is happening while the market of the city has been put on fire and shops has closed. The ethnic tensions between the Oromo and Somali, which have been brewing for a long while and also seen in the rise of killings of Somali in the recent months. By the Quuerro and the Aghazi Squad, which has turned on these, instead of building a stronger community together.
The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) and Prime Minister Dr. Abyi Ahmed have not stopped or ceased the violence in the Ogaden Region. Neither done much, other than trying to conceal the growing violence. Today’s action only happen after the Somali’s have tried to stop the oil-flow going from the region and blocking that.
Abdi Illey have formed a youth group called Heego, which has caused extended havoc and looting, after the seizures of the banks, government buildings and the other important places of Jigjiga. The group has burned down churches as the anarchy contines.
There are two conflicting reports, one is that the PM sent the armed forces to protect the oil and gas production in the area. The other report is that this is an answer of a rebellion, where the authorities of the region planned to announce their independence from Ethiopia. Third report is that of the 5% the Somali Region get of the Oil Revenue, the leader Illey asked for 75% and that is reason for why the army came to take it over. They cannot afford or have the hassle to cough of more money for the resources there.
Which would mean a Ogaden State in itself. To this point, it is hard to verify, but both can be plausible, especially when there is money and Chinese investment involved in the oil-and-gas fields. The are unconfirmed reports that Abdi Mohamud Omar, the President of the Somali Region is under house, but nothing of that is certain yet. While Regional Parlaiment Speaker Mohamed Rashid Isaq have called on the public to defend Jigjiga from the army. Therefore, the growing tensions is escalating and the nerves are already touched.
The total death toll per now is 18. Which is a lot, as the army sent thousands of soldiers, as the Heego group have vandalized the city, as well as the soldiers have done a lot of harm to the public too. As the Federal Government is currently occupying this city with this force. This is not a good sign for the Addis Ababa leadership, nor a sign of goodwill from the Somali. Hopefully, all parties can come to their sense and use common sense. As the hopelessness and destruction will not benefit either party.
What is currently stated is that the machinery and army from EPRDF and the TPLF are in control, the PM and the regime there wants to takeover. That they have done, as the insecurity and the vandalization will cease. However, the scars and the issues there, will be as hurtful as the months of destruction and killings in Amhara and Oromia. Not like the state should forget that, now they are just targeting another group, because it is fitting to control and also the Oil Revenue.
Illey shouldn’t order his youth group and create the mass destruction, but neither should the possible government bleed the region down, because of the finding and the extraction of oil from the region. That just doesn’t make sense, unless the government want to continue to oppress and secure wealth on their behalf. Peace.
There are certain problems that doesn’t get solved with opening of an Eritrean Embassy in Addis Ababa. It is a good move to have dialogue and diplomatic ties with Eritrea for Ethiopia. What the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) and the Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali has done over the last two weeks have been special.
Since all his takeover, there are still spill-over of troubles ahead, where the government and army doesn’t have total control. Even as the Oromo are creating a bloodshed in Moyale in the Ogaden Region. This has been happening through the June and July month this year. As well, as there been skirmishes by the Sudanese Army in Metema part of Amhara Region. Where they killed about 16 farmers before the 5th July and more in clashes on the 15th July. Therefore, the sovereign state of Ethiopia needs help. They are been taken for a ride by the Sudanese Republic, also by internal forces killing in the Moyale area.
The amount of dead in Moyale during July is hard to verify, but the Oromo feels a new spirit after the new PM came to power and gave way to Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Queerro and other parties, that was before seen as terrorist organizations. Now they feel liberated, but their actions are possible as bad as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), as they are killing the Somali people in the Ogaden Region and that is the same as the Aghazi was doing to the Oromo for years. Certainly, their activity should be condemn. That after days of reports of massacres in Moyale, the PM reacted, but really slow, as the deaths have been piling up.
Both of these skirmishes needs to be addressed, the parties need to answer for their deaths, as much as the numbers are sketchy at best, but by 13th July in Moyale, the Oromo had killed about 80 people. That is huge amount of people. Who knows how many that has lost their lives in both regions of Ethiopia this month.
It is sad as the progress under the PM is hopeful, but what is happening in Amhara and Ogaden is worrying, as the State of Emergency is still in effect and the actions of government is lackluster at best. When concerning the lives of the Somali ones living within the border regions of Ethiopia, as well, as the lack of condemnation and even stoppage of Sudanese troops entering Amhara and killing farmers in the Metema.
All of that needs actions, as the government need to take charge and show capability to take care of its citizens. That is if, they even care of this is a play from Tigray to show that Oromo is as violent as them. Also, that the Sudanese can toy-around because they want to challenge and weaken the Amhara spirit, because of their pro-longed protest against the EPRDF and the TPLF.
Who knows, but these vicious atrocities happens. As long as the continuing silence and lack of effort. We can wonder if these people are living in the wrong zip-code and in the wrong time. As they are not even valued by their own authorities, who are supposed to be there and defending them. The EPRDF should know this is their time. To act and make a difference.
The PM have proven it is possible, at this instance, he should too. If he cares about all these people losing their lives. It is on his watch. It will be on his hands if he doesn’t stop it. Not only remembered for the peace agreement with Eritrea, but the killed people of Amhara and Moyale. Peace.
On the Morning of May 10, 2018 the killing squads created by TPLF in the Somali Territory code named Liyu-police in order to terrorise them as special police abducted Ms Taysir Omar Food, a twenty four year old unmarried girl and Lynched her at the Qabridaharre police station in Ogaden. After two ours they called the relatives of the extra-judicially killed girl and asked them to sign a disclosure claiming that she killed herself. The relatives who immediately took the picture of the girl with marks of the wire used for lynching and nail scratch during her struggle, refused to sign the paper and run crying to the town centre.
After hearing what happened the town’s folk took to the streets and started an impromptu demonstration. The Ethiopian army and security forces tried to frighten the demonstrators firing life bullets. Later the head of security and army in Qabridaharre called the elders and asked them to calm the people but the elders refused. Hundreds of people were detained and the town was put under Curfew.
The Ethiopian Army and Liyu-police has been committing massive violations of human rights in the Somali territory under Ethiopia for the last twenty five years and has made the Somali territory(Ogaden) hell on Earth. Although the Somali people resisted and paid a heavy price for struggle for their right to self-determination, the new upheavals that started in other parts of Ethiopia has brought a measure of hope that at least the new Prime Minister will take action against the TPLF right hand henchman in Ogaden, who was the main instrument of TPLF pogrom in Ogaden, Abdi Ilay. However, after the status quo in Ogaden was kept as before, despite changes in the Ethiopia, the Somali people started agitating peacefully for their rights. Activists in Europe and America intensified their propagation of the crimes committed in Ogaden and demonstrations started in Siti (Shinile)Region, then spread to Fafan(Jigjiga) and parts of Degahbur, Godey and in the Whole of the Ogaden where the people started expressing the need for change and lifting of the undeclared marshall law in Ogaden that was imposed since 1994, when ONLF was banned and the territory put under undeclared military administration, using the Somali regional administration as proxy.
The Killing of Taysir by lynching is reminiscent of the lynching of Ms Ridwan by the Ethiopian army in 2007, is a new catalyst for the insurrection of Somali people to get rid of TPLF special rule that is based on war economy, using the Ogaden as cash cow to rebuilt Tigray region.
ONLF Categorically condemns the Ethiopian regime that allows the criminals in Ogaden to terrorise a whole nation and commit such heinous crimes as befell Taysir to continue and calls the Somali people to unite and stand together in order to liberate the Somali people from this criminal regime and achieve genuine self-determination.
ONLF calls upon the international community to pressure the Ethiopian government to stop the crimes it is coming against the Somali people using such people as Abdi Ilay and allow the Somali people to exercise their right to self-determination.
ONLF supports and stands by the Somali people in their struggle against occupation and tyranny.
Unity, Perseverance, Self-reliance and Victory to the People
Since the end of March 2018, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) selected their new Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ali. That happens after the end of February, when the Command Post and the Minister of Defense Siraj Fegessa announced another State of Emergency, that was approved by the Parliament early March and means the continued oppression of the protesters in the regions of Amhara and Oromia would continue. As it has, it hasn’t stopped with the selection of Dr. Abiy as the PM. The Command Post and Agazi Squad has continued their raids, the terror and tyranny in the Somali Region, Ogaden, Amhara and Oromia.
James Moody reports: “The Somali region protests erupted on 20 April. The first protests called for the regional government to release 1,500 prisoners, as it had promised to do in February (Africa News, 28 February 2018). In the following days the protests gained momentum, spreading to other towns in the Siti zone, and the scope of the complaints widened – the protests were increasingly against corruption and abuse by the regional president, Abdi Illey. Illey is generally unpopular in Somali province because of his violent deployment of the Somali regional militia, the Liyu Police (ACLED, 12 April 2018) and because of corruption accusations. However, not only is Illey facing challenges from the population, he is also balancing leadership turbulence within his own party. On 24 April, Illey fired the deputy regional president, Abdikarim Igali, fearing that Igali would capitalise on the regional protests to mount a challenge to Illey’s position in the Somali government (Addis Standard, 27 April 2018). This strategy backfired, instead provoking increased protest, particularly from Igali’s home district of Shinile. Illey’s other response to the protests has been to reinforce security by ordering Liyu Police forces back to the regional capital Jijiga. There have been relatively few confrontations between the Liyu police and protesters, but responses to calm the protesters should be cautious to avoid further conflagration” (James Moody – ‘ETHIOPIA: PROTESTS SHIFT FROM OROMIA TO SOMALI PROVINCE’ 05.05.2018, link: https://www.acleddata.com/2018/05/05/ethiopia-protests-shift-from-oromia-to-somali-province/).
So the government hasn’t changed, the new PM makes a shining light with speeches and public gatherings. However, the actions of the EPRDF is still fueled with aggression against the population. That hasn’t changed, not with the new PM. It is more of the same. Just nicer speeches and impression of hope. While the dire needs are still there and the authorities are still acting oblivious world-wide, while locally cracking down on anyone questioning the EPRDF, the TPLF infused government.
For the second time within the three months, there is again violent skirmishes from the authorities in Moyale, which happen last time in February 2018. The reason this time is unknown, there are reports of casualties, but none verified as the gun-shots has appeared, as well as fires in the town. Also that people are fleeing from the town to Kenya. Just like they did in February. Therefore, the government has no direct solution.
We know also that things aren’t getting better with the problems in various regions as the reports on the 3rd May 2018, when the Federal Attorney General ordered that all arrests done by the Command Post in regions, would be taken care of in the states and not federal. Meaning, the local leaderships and their courts will be in-charge of the ones detained while it occurred during the State of Emergency. Also, securing that the TPLF central government isn’t the ones who are keeping people arrested, but the local leadership.
There been little sign of hope, less if you look at the beautiful words, but those words doesn’t bring justice to oppressed, to the ones shackled and detained, the ones afraid of speaking, the ones afraid of gathering and the ones who might lose their lives. Just for standing up against a government, which doesn’t represent them or their kind. They are just representing businesses and foreign interests. Not the public, not the regions and not the unemployed youths or poor peasants, who deserves a government that actually represent them. Peace.