Statement by the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) on talks with the Ethiopian Government (13.05.2018)
I write what I like.
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.
The United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) condemns today’s suicide bombing in the city of Gaalkacyo, which reportedly killed government security officers and civilians.
“This attack occurred because extremists feel threatened by the progress that is being made with reconciliation efforts in Gaalkacyo,” said the head of UNSOM, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating.
“The country has suffered enough violence and bloodshed; it is time for reconciliation,” he added. “The people and authorities in Gaalkacyo are courageously finding a way forward; they should not be derailed by this assault on their chances of a peaceful future.’’
According to initial reports, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in an area of the city known as Jiiro Abdullahi Yusuf, where security forces were stationed, earlier on Saturday morning, killing at least two senior security force commanders as well as civilians. Al-Shabaab has reportedly claimed responsibility.
UNSOM expresses its condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims and wishes the injured a full and speedy recovery.