The Liyu police (special police force) of the Ethiopian Somali regional administration on Feb 6, 2013 killed a civilian named Mohamed Qowdhen Abdi in the vicinity of Farah Liban within Harshin Zone. This is the same area where Liyu police murdered a number of civilians earlier (September 2012).
According to the news coming from the area, the victim Mohamed Qowdhen Abdi was driving a truck coming from Harta Sheikh town and going to Harshin town. He was stopped at Farah Liban area by the Liyu police led by two officers and they were driving a donated district ambulance vehicle. Since the Liyu police highest officers are directly are related to the president of Ethiopian Somali region Mr. Abdi Mohamoud Omar , these two officers were not the exception. They opened fire and shot the driver at close range without any question and the driver passed away. They realized who the person was they open fire on him and killed.
Although the government did not speak about the incident the news we are getting from the area added that the two officers left the place after they killed the victim and later the body was transported to Harshin where he was buried.
It was on September 11, 2012 ,when Liyu police killed 12 civilians, one female and eleven males, in the vicinity of Elmi Hirsi within Harshin Zone and they massacred more than 23 people in Gashamo district in March 16 and 17. 2012. All killings in these in two districts happened simply because the people belong to Isaq clan. Moreover, the regional government sponsored liyu police openly side with Ogaden clan whenever there is a clan conflict. Historically, Somali clans inhabiting Ethiopian Somali regional state are pastoralists. Due to scarcity of water and grazing, there had been clan sporadic conflict in this regional state. However, this clan conflict has now taken a new dimension. tHe liyu police trained and funded by the local and federal government has openly taken side with the conflict and participated in the clan conflict. it has been reported a not long time ago that the liyu police kidnapped and arrest 57 Isaq Somali pastoralists from small village known as Lanqeerta and took them to jijiga after a conflict occurred between two Somali clans . These 57 innocent pastoralists and their family were taken to court accused of foreigners, anti peace elements and whatever they thought would secure their conviction and charged them in Somali regional court. These 57 people were convicted and sentenced to imprisonments that range from 5 years to 20 years. They were not given any opportunity to defend themselves in court of law. The regional and federal state constitutions, guarantee the provision of defence lawyer for anyone accused of rigorous imprisonment. However, in contrary to the rule, these people were convicted within one week. it would be impossible to convict more than 50 people within a week unless it is a kangaroo court. where no due process of law exist.
The Isaq community in Ethiopia has always lived with all Ethiopia in peace and friendship. this community is well known throughout Ethiopia for their respect for the other people and the peace and tranquillity they have succeeded to maintain in the area they inhabit. Currently, they Somali regional government has unpacked a strategic plan to evict the Isaq Ethiopian Somali from their ancestral land. According to information coming from the grassroots, there are many projected funded by the European, American and world bank and other international institutions which are being used by the regional government to evict the Isaq people from their ancestral land. We have no objection in the development of the regional state and settlement of the former pastoralist community to lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, it would not be acceptable if this noble program is used for the purpose of land expansion and conquering from the Isaq land.
It is open secret that the liyu police is harassing not only Isaq community in Ethiopia but also all Ethiopian regardless of their ethnic background. In the past Jijiga has been a multicultural town. But today it is being turned into one ethnic town. if you are from ogaden clan , you would be given full opportunity. People, who born and brought up in this town, are abandoning it in drove, scared by what is going in it. It is impossible to go around in the town without being stopped by the liyu police and militia. Nobody would be asked if you are murdered arrested and tortured. In the pretext of war against terrorism and security alliance, the western governments that in the past solicited the federal government for the respect of human rights and human dignity have recently shown some inclination to train even the notorious liyu police which are accused of murder, rape, torture, illegal detention, and many criminal activities. It should be noted here that the western interest would be much more jeopardised if they blindly support a special police force that have been involved in causing all heinous crime against brother, sister, father, mother, uncle and many more it is not possible to enumerate in this short article. The world has reached where a human right violation in remote part of the world would affect another part of the world.
The incident forced a Diaspora group that hail from the area to go to Ethiopia to do fact finding mission and to bring to justice the culprits of these crime. The Diaspora group arrived in Addis Ababa on December 6, 2012 and headed to the region where killing incidents happened to do fact finding mission. This diaspora group travelled throughout the whole Isaq inhabited area and compiled a ten pages report so that the regional state would look at the problems this community encounter and find solutions. This report has attempted to comprise many issues the community has raised. However, the report was condensed into four main topics and many issues were not included. Issues presented in this report have not yet been met. The question one asks is until when the Isaq community sit back and simply beg the regional government for his mercy. To the opinion of the writer of this article it is high time we seek our rights. The only way we could achieve this is by uniting ourselves and joining other Somali people marginalised by the current Somali regional state government misguided policies. Many Somali community in Ethiopia are being excluded from taking part in the development in the regional state. For example, the regional government has 18 bureau heads; however, only 4 are non-ogaden. The regional state’s president is from ogaden. The vice president is also from the same clan. The third person who head the regional security and behind all these human rights violation is from a closely related clan.
On the other hand, the president of the Ethiopian Somali Regional administration Abdi Mohamoud Omar called to meet with elders and leaders from the region the day after 12 and 23 people were killed in Harshin and Gashamo districts respectively and at both meetings he promised that he would take solve the problem. Never the less, the problems the Isaq community were asking in the past to stop and they are asking at the moment is continue an unabated. The last incident that happened in the regional state is occurring on daily basis all over the Isaq inhabited area. There is no hope that it would stop in the near future. Then the logical question what should isaq community do to avert these problems. Unity is the only means we could overcome the trickery the regional government is using to divide us and exterminate us individually. Dictators and fascist governments have this feature in the past. For example, if you take the Nazi Hitler regime, it attempted to extinct the Jewish community from the German occupied land simply because of the blood of the Israelite people. They had not committed any other crime against. The holocaust happened in the watch of the world. The current extermination in the Somali regional state is a mini holocaust. People should not be give impunity for the crime they committed against humanity wherever it happened. Otherwise the people would have patience and they would come out in their drove to demand their rights. Silence is not acceptance and patience has a limit.
By Haud land