By Anwar Abdifatah Bashir
It’s ironic and peculiar to be stable and impeccable, a country with over 100 million under mosaic federal system.
Ethiopia tends volatile country in Africa as far as specific ethnicities are ruling the country since its birth, while belittling other communities. Amhara, chauvinist, racist and patrimonial leadership ethnic, Tigray, minority ethnic, Oromo insatiable desire and frivolous demander overarched the country. Bear in mind, Ethiopia conglomerates big fat of different ethnicities. But, these three communities became the political dynasty in Ethiopia, aka (The China of Africa). Suffice it to say, Ethiopia is multi-ethnic country, but the sickening and the dumfounded is, why only these three communities are eligible the top decision making positions, and others are disregarded? , especially Somalis, who are the third most populous community and the owner of the second largest land in Ethiopia. According to our gut feelings, Ethiopia is not yet democratic country with free and parity elections since its existence. The disparity and miscarriage of justice are the underlining causes of this outstanding and blatant dispeace in Ethiopia. And the Somali region becomes soft target and susceptible community for any hetero and naked aggression from the ruling communities respectively.
Currently, Ethiopia hosts the highest number of people displaced since World War II. Over 3.2 million people were displaced by conflict and drought in April this year. These unprecedented internally displacement caused by the disparity, the rising acrimony and communal violence among the different communities in the country. This appalling internally displacement is more than the refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen en masse as indicated Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
As presented Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2019, Ethiopia ranked 131st peaceful country out of 163 countries in 2019. In 2016, Ethiopia was 119 ranking. In Sub-Saharan Africa are 44 countries, Ethiopia becomes 33rd After Mali, Central Africa republic, DRC, Somalia and South-Sudan. Plenty of political analysts believe that, this dismay ranking and backward trajectory caused by weak leadership in the federal level and the regional levels as well.
Ethiopia says: Somali region will get 50% for its gas/oil
After Ethiopian federal government announced this issue, plenty of people believed, and many more showcased cynical. So, let us trace back this pivotal issue. On June last year, representatives from Ethiopian government and representatives from Somali region led by former president of the Somali region, who is currently under federal custody for bum rap accusations his Excellency Abdi Mohamoud Omar, aka (Abdi iley) attended the inaugural ceremony of the unprecedented crude oil extraction tests by Chinese owned Poly-GCL petroleum group in the Ogaden Basin.
His side, the prime minister of Ethiopia his Excellency Dr. Abiy evoked that, this new remarkable natural resource will bring big fat opportunities, wide job creation, and in the meantime uplifts the country’s economy. But, all these are window-dressing, self-defeating, self-destroying and totally self-delusion which is intended to embezzle and ransack the natural resources of the Somali region without their consent. The asymmetric retaliation of Oromo against the gullible Somali community ramped up, and the Ethiopian government shambles to fortress the innocent people.
In 1945, when Haile Selassie begun the oil exploration in the Ogaden region, colossal of the indigenous local people , especially WARDHEER, currently under DOOLO region embarked public backlash and mass outrage against this temerity and conundrum that have taken by Ethiopian government, which is utterly and completely mistaken.
On the other hand, between 1950 to 1995, more than 43 wells have been drilled in the Ogaden region, and from 1995 up to date is more than that above-mentioned. Mostly, these wells have been found in HILALA, CALUB under KORAHEY and DOOLO regions.
These intrusive scorched-earth campaign towards Gas/Basin exploration were involved by several foreign companies including (a) Tenneco Oil Exploration (b) Sinclair Oil Corporation (c) Soviet Petroleum Exploration Expedition (SPEE). Additionally, the other slap in the face and dumfounded is, there was huge and conspicuous displacement of the indigenous people during this campaign of exploration spearheaded by Ethiopian government, number of roads have been demolished and paved under the guise of exploring the natural resources of the region. These roads include Higloole, Dawacaale, Laasoole, Salalmaale, Lixirdood, Qamuudaa, Qarsoodi and Saraysagole. Those who previously lived in the villages between Qabridahar and Shilaabo all the way to Wardheer have all fled. As Human rights watch denoted in its 2008 report that, during this process of exploring the Gas/Basin in Ogaden region, gross of human rights violations have been committed against the local people.
The other side of the coin, ONLF have famously and courageously evoked several times that, they don’t accept the exploitation of the Ogaden’s region devoid of the consent and the will of the local people. Adding, that ONLF resists any hetero and naked aggression against their people. ONLF was/and dedicated and sacrificed to emancipate their own people since its foundation.
As Somali poet ones observed (Wuxuu ugajeedayba mooyee, Wallee Jarmalkii jid noo jeex), gut feeling this means (Whatsoever their envious intentions, the Germans paved roads for us). These gorgeous and fetching lyrics are expressed how the foreign companies engaged the exploration of the Gas/Basin in the Somali region is totally against their consent.
Abiy like Watermelon: Green outside and Red inside!
The current powder keg and the sticky wicket in Ethiopia is responsible the hoodwinker Dr. Abiy, who utmost tends and maintains to delude the world for his cosmetic reform. He always focuses outside the country in order to obtain award, but he fails to fix the increasing internal problems among the different ethnicities in the country which is hocus-pocus. Abiy’s charm offensive ends in vain and bog down. Because, the grudge among the communities peaked, the displaced overwhelmed, and the volatility became intractable, indomitable, inexorable, invincible, ineluctable and inevitable. Though, he has done some commendable issues at his early days in the office including releasing the prisoners such as MAKHTAL and QALBI-DHAGAX and others, lifting the label the oppositions including OLF, ONLF and GINBOT 7 and inviting them to join the politics in the country. Although, later Abiy despised all of them en masse and applied them (Invite the System and Marginalize them)
Cagjar: Dictator in chief!
The acting/deputy president of the Somali region his Excellency Mustafa Omar, aka (Cagjar) becomes uniquely intolerant, relentless person, who tended ruthless and temerity taken policies against his people. While, his cabinet became totally obsequious, lame-duck and hold titular positions. They don’t deliver any perceptible services to their people, alternatively they amass moneys and ignores their watch on their people. Every single day, we hear that, Cagjar’s sycophant government killed enormous innocent people, arrested tremendous well-known traditional elders, refuge and displaced uncountable indigenous people under reprisal.
Coup d’état in Ethiopia
Yesterday (Saturday 22/06/2019), attempt of coup d’état witnessed in Ethiopia, especially the Amhara region. As the media spreads that, Ambachew Mekonnen (The president of the Amhara region) and his adviser were attacked and killed in Bahr-Dar (The capital city of Amhara region) also, has been reported that, Ethiopia’s army chief of staff (Seare Mekonnen) had been killed. Several taking heads pontificated that, senior military personnel were involved this coup attempt. In the meantime, plenty of foreign embassies including US embassy in Addis-Ababa have been released alert to their staffs. Ethiopian’s internet was cut, and this outlandish creates doubt. Plenty of the political commentators opined that, If Abiy persists this double-standard policy which is feeding Oromo and dislodging others, then the country becomes dismantled sooner or later. And if this violence and inter-communal melt down continue, then it will scupper the whole country.
- a)Abiy should orchestrate instantly National truth reconciliation among the different ethnicities in Ethiopia in order to deplete the deep-rooted grudge among them
- b)There is drastic and desperate need for widening the EPRDF’s membership and include representatives from Somali region, Afar region, Benishangul-Gumuz , Harari region and Gambela region. Currently EPRDF conglomerates four regions the so-called Oromo region, Amhara region, Tigray region and Southern Nations Nationalities region.
- c)Ethiopia should/must stay away to exploit the natural resources of the Somali region devoid of their consent.
- d)Cagjar’s clueless and pseudo government should admonish and take care the federal level’s politics, and refrain belittling their people in the Somali region. Also, Cagjar shouldn’t act so meek and mild when it comes like this hotspot situation in Ethiopia.
- e) The upcoming election in Ethiopia in 2020 should be inclusivity and will not accept any more to lead the country one single party the so-called (EPRDF), otherwise Abiy’s reform which was seeming at the beginning aura and beacon of hope, will become blowback and hindsight.
- f)Ostensibly and blatant, currently there is no political consensus among the different communities in Ethiopia. So, this political vacuum should be filled soon for shying away potential deadlock and clash among the ethnicities.
- g)Ethiopia’s constitution which has been endorsed and enforced in 1995 without several region’s presence including Somali region should be reviewed. Especially Article 39 should be considered as its.
Stay tuned about the updates from Ethiopia!
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir (Freelance Journalist/Horn of Africa Geopolitics Analyst and Independent Researcher) – He can be reached on (firstname.lastname@example.org