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.
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” – Euripides
As things are standing in Ethiopia there are minor changes in the ways it is perceived, this mostly because of how the new Prime Minister is carrying himself. This being Dr. Abiy Ahmed whose been all around and visiting all parts of the Republic. However, there been continued oppression, detaining and killings during his tenure in the regions where the State of Emergency has hit the hardest. This being in Oromia, Somalia Region and Amhara. All of these areas has been hit hard by the State of Emergency, where the police and military, the Aghazi Squad has attacked civilians and killed too.
“Addis Ababa, June 2, 2018 (FBC) – The Council of Ministers in its today’s regular meeting approved a draft law that lifts the State of Emergency. The draft will be sent to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) for consideration. The Council noted that law and order has been restored. Ethiopia declared a six-month State of Emergency on February 16, 2018” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘Council of Ministers approves draft bill to lift State of Emergency’ 02.06.2018).
Therefore I am reluctant about this move, as long as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) is in power and using their methods. I wonder what is their safeguard and their next move, as they have done everything they can to silence dissidents. This being silencing phone-lines, blocking internet, stopping people from having sit-down strikes and generally banning all possible protests. While making activists, writers and everyone involved in these matters into criminals. Even as they fight for liberty and justice over their own. The EPRDF comes with the military as a hostile takeover and takes control. Instead of being in dialogue. That is what the State of Emergency and the provisions of the Commando Post is all about.
There is no reflection or anything saying that they will really change, the SOE now was really to stall for time. The demonstrations and the protest spirit is not gone, there are still lingering thousands upon thousands in jail. Even as high-profiled individuals has been released. The majority is still behind bars and the lack of freedom is still there. The New PM hasn’t changed that or the laws, not tried to repeal the Anti-Terror laws, which has used to oppress civilians who protest against the EPRDF.
We can hope for change, but its still lots of the same. The powers are within the same structures, a small change in the cabinet, but the reality is that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is still controlling the EPRDF. The government and its institution isn’t significantly changed, even as the Prime Minister has been in talks with Oromo Opposition leaders. That is positive step, just as the possible repeal of the SOE. However, as long as no one takes responsibility of the violence, the killings and the arbitrary arrests, there will not be real changes. It will just be patches on the hurt, but when the wounds are evident. The flair and the flames will start again, because no one acted upon the hurt. That should be the vision of the EPRDF, to take responsibility and charge itself. If they are real about the damage and hurt it has given over the years. Not just walk away because your in power.
Who knows if they within a months time repeal the SOE, will they do it again if the Queerro are starting to block the roads and stop businesses from moving goods from Djibouti to Addis. Will the army and the police accept that? As the TPLF and EPRDF will lose foreign exchange on it and also possible profits from doing so. Will they accept that the Amhara are also closing the roads into the capital. Would they accept it, as they are not listened to or even considered. As long as the government are caring about themselves. That is the reality.
This is a positive step, but if it is not followed up by more heartfelt measures, the reality will hit the fan and the possible violence will appear, because the government haven’t shown another side or character. Peace.