The Somali Region or the Ogaden Region have been under-fire for months. Over the weekend the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) send the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to takeover the capital of the region, they ceased the important buildings as the looting and destroying of city, therefore, the army took the Parliament, the banks and major buildings. While the local group Heego of Abdi Illey created havoc. By Saturday, there was reports of calm, but the army was out and the Liyu Police had taken control.
Today on Monday after time in house-arrest, Illey have been sacked and he has gotten a successor by the authorities. However, the violence isn’t slowing down, but escalating to heavy proportions. You can wonder how many Somali people have to die, because of the will of Oromo to annex this region and its resources. Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the EPRDF needs to react and stop the violence. That Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali have been silent and not really reacted, but let the Oromo attack these areas and killing, also accepting the army ceasing JigJjiga, isn’t a good sign. That is a sign of internal battlefield within the Federal Republic. Not pacing down, but more violence and more hurt for innocent civilians.
“The town of Tuliguleed has been a flash point for conflict between indigenous Somalis and Oromo settlers in the past but what has transpired in the past 24 hours has never been seen before. Heavily armed Oromo militia’s launched an indiscriminate attack on multiple Somali inhabited villages on the border between Ogaden and the neighboring Oromo regional state. Armed Oromo militia’s entered the villages and began indiscriminately opening fire on civilians, forcing hundreds to flee to the nearby town of Tuliguleed and the surrounding areas. The rogue paramilitary militia’s began subsequently burning villages to the ground, till it was completely ash. A total of nine villages where burned to the ground” (Halgan Media – ‘Oromo Militia’s Burn Down Nine Villages In Ogaden Within The Past 24 Hours’ 06.08.2018 link: http://halganmedia.net/oromo-militias-burn-down-nine-villages-in-ogaden-within-the-past-24-hours/).
There are reports of violence also in Harar, Dire Dawa and not only in the areas around Jigjiga. But this is deliberate activity, especially when the authorities have cut the Telecommunications, the internet and everything else used to spread a single word. This is what the EPRDF have done in Amhara and Oromia, when they have forced their State of Emergency to control these areas. Instead of doing it there by the Tigray People’s Liberation Force (TPLF), not the Queero and the Oromos feels big enough to charge at the people of Ogaden. This happens as the oil revenue has come.
This comes after killings last month in Moyale, as their been movement and seems to be planned violence now within the Ogaden. Like they want to burn and destroy, so they can move in and occupy it. It is an ancient tactic done by plenty and now the Oromo is doing it to their Somali brothers. This is sad as the Oromo and Oromia have been protesting and fighting for their rights. Instead of living in solidarity and trying to forge unity with the rest of the Federal Republic. They are using violence against brothers. That is just sad and mediocre of the people whose deserved to be free from toils of the TPLF. Is using the same means and deception of violence against others. They should know better, because they really had their hurt and pain for so long because of EPRDF.
It is impossible to know at the moment how many whose died in the skirmishes from ENDF and Queero in Ogaden. But each one, is one to many, just like every single one dying in Oromia because of the TPLF, was one to many. No one deserves to die because of the attitude of supremacy or ideals of that sort. Peace.
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.
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.
Even as the stark contrasting reports are appearing, the reality must hit the fan. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. For me its a hard time reading about the rising economy, when certain other familiar set-backs are reported. Its like you cannot have rainy-season and dry-season at the same time. You cannot have a giant harvest or a drought from the same land. That just doesn’t happen. If this was different republic’s, different nations and different rulers. Then it would be possible different results. But when were discussing the narrow place. It just doesn’t make sense.
First I will cover that good news, that got Ethiopia on CNN, than after that I will take a report coming from the local ESAT, Tesfanews & AfricaNews. These are striking differences to the narrative coming from CNN. Which doesn’t make sense to me.
“Ethiopia’s economy is predicted to grow by 8.5% this year. The figures signal continued economic expansion following a long period of impressive growth. In the last decade, Ethiopia has averaged around 10% economic growth, according to the IMF” (Giles, 2018). This gives a favorable outlook with a fantastic economic growth. If that was true. Why does this other report says otherwise.
“Dwindling imports of wheat has resulted in scarcity of bread in the capital Addis Ababa and the price of a loaf of the staple has doubled. Authorities say the crisis was a result of the foreign currency crunch facing the country. Long lines at bakeries in the capital is a regular scene and owners of the bakeries told local media that they only get half of the wheat flour in quotas. The bakeries say if the crisis continues, they would be forced to close business” (…) “Plans to import 200,000 metric tons of wheat this year have failed due to foreign currency shortages sparking the bread crisis” (De Birhaner, 2018)
“The situation has exasperated to the point where factories have been forced to operate under capacity, crucial medicines are disappearing from pharmacies and many goods are not found on shelves of supermarkets. The amount of international reserve has dwindled. It only covers 1.8 months of imports by the end of the last fiscal year” (…) “It is fact that Ethiopia’s economy is troubled by a shortage of foreign currency and it is in a position where it cannot be calmed down by the sudden release of dollars. The economy needs a workable solution. This requires looking into every line of the balance of payment account and coming up with strategies to improve them” (Abdulmena, 2018).
“But those at the speech said Abiy did not outline plans to open up new sectors, a move which could also ease a shortage of foreign exchange. Instead, he said state spending on infrastructure, which has crowded out local companies, would continue. Abiy also told the business community that the foreign exchange shortage that has plagued the country will last for years and more cooperation with the private sector is essential to solve it” (AfricaNews, 2018).
Let’s be clear, this is my view of the situation. Because, the narrative of a rising economy, when fellow reports are that the are lines to bakeries for bread, lack of imports of medicine and factories. That cannot create a vast rise of economy as the IMF and CNN reported. That just don’t make sense. How can the economy grow, when public cannot spend their monies or get the needed imported food? That seems like a pointless.
That the lack of foreign exchange in the reserves, that hits the economy. Supermarkets loosing their goods, medicine from the shelves, bread out of bakeries, all of that should be of a failing economy. Not a rising tiger. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) and the Councils of Ministers has to rig the numbers to the international organizations. Because you cannot have lack of bread, medicine and goods, while also having a high-rising economy. If it was so, then depression of America in the 1920s was the grandest time of the Economy there. But that is just how I view things. Because I don’t have the numbers, but the reports doesn’t make sense.
Its hard to see… rising growth and prosperity, but if it was so, wouldn’t the people have more money to spend at the Supermarket. Not have less products to buy at the Supermarket. Wouldn’t there be more medicine and not less? Wouldn’t the bakeries have bread? Wouldn’t the state have the foreign exchange reserves to import the needed wheat? Then it would be believable. By all means, I want a prosperous Ethiopian Republic. However, the truth cannot be that now. Not during State of Emergency, not during the oppression of the Oromia and Amhara regions. Not during the oppressive behavior and silencing the people. The EPRDF and the TPLF are surely trying to ply the outside world. That is why the ESAT, TesfaNews and AfricaNews not hitting the stands. It is because your not listening to reality, but a narrative creating by the oppressive central government, that doesn’t listen, but only want people to obey. Peace.
Giles, Chris – ‘Ethiopia is now Africa’s fastest growing economy’ (24.04.2018) link: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/24/africa/africa-largest-economy/index.html
De Birhaner – ‘The Foreign Currency Crunch Is Bad In Ethiopia That It Has Even Caused Bread Shortage in Addis’ (28.04.2018) link: http://debirhan.com/2018/04/foreign-currency-crunch-bad-ethiopia-even-caused-bread-shortage-addis/
Abdulmena Mohammed – ‘Forex Crunch: Ethiopia’s Immovable Object’ (27.04.2018) link: https://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopia-forex-crunch/
AfricaNews – ‘Ethiopia not ready for foreign investment in telecoms, banking: president’ (24.04.2018) link: http://www.africanews.com/2018/04/24/ethiopia-not-ready-for-foreign-investment-in-telecoms-banking-president/