What is Behind Clashes in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali Regions?

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5 Responses

  1. Ittu Aba Farda says:

    For those who never had to live within a region where inter ethnic deadly conflicts had happened, this may be a little difficult to understand. Those of us who happened to be born and live at least our formative years like me know and understand very well about such violence just because we had seen and experienced through it all. It was happening since there were Oromos, Afars and Issas living in close encounters. It was happening during the Emperor’s times and he did not create it. It happened during the demonic Mengistu’s time and he rather ignored it altogether. I had heard that one of the members of the Derg was successful in organizing a meeting for truce between the warring Afar and Issa tribes at the town of Chiro in the mid 1970’s. That Derg member was later eaten up by that cannibal Mengistu. So the problem has been there for ages. But the shift in geopolitical landscape that took place during the last 150 years seemed to have perpetuated it. I will leave the details to those countrymen experts in the science of history but I will talk from experience. Those who grew up around the old railway lines between Dire Dawa and Awash remember who used to be in their majority at every railway station in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. I had my early elementary education up to the 3rd grade at a makeshift school at one of those stations. That school was later shut down due to lack of sizable number of students. But I remember going to a one elementary school at the next railway station for reasons I still don’t know. May be it was their style of a jamboree we know here. I still remember vividly the student ethnic background from the railway station of Afdem(Aware). They were members of the Afar tribe in their majority. I have heard that some of those Afar students from that town are now very successful business men and statesmen in the neighboring Djibouti. We competed in various athletic games including soccer. I remember how our tiny school was having trouble finding enough students to compete in the soccer game. And when did participate, it was a ‘massacre’. Just picture the 1986 Chicago Bears or Brett Favre’s Cheese Heads or Tom Brady’s Patriots playing an elementary school football team. Just like that. Now I am told that Afdem is in the Somali jurisdiction. Every Afar resident has been driven out by force after the 1960’s. Now I know and understand that demographics are made to change over time but to see one in my lifetime was a jaw dropping event for me. Drought is just another fuel but not the real reason behind it all. For many cattle rustlers it is an extremely lucrative business. That has been the case since the establishment of outposts by the British at Berbera and the French at Djibouti. That has been an on-going factor for the unabated deadly rustling. One of my friends who is a member of a Mamasan Issa clan once told me that a cow or a bull that was rustled away from the vicinity of Asabot today can be found on the butcher’s chopping block in Djibouti in just a week. Or even in Aden, Sanaa and Hodeidah in less than a month. And that friend knows what he is talking about very, very well. This includes sheep and goats. One other fueling factor is the population explosion in all these ethnic groups. They have been multiplying irresponsibly for decades now with no means of making a living for their children. So children will continue to march on the same tracks established by their hatchers. They are not rustling with spears any more. They are not rustling with bolt action rifles in their hands any more. They are armed to the teeth with AK-47’s and from what I am reading now they even have RPG’s in their arsenal. These rustlers have grown with a culture that sees settled way of farmer’s lives in contempt. That is why I don’t believe disarming the offenders is the only solution but just a part of it. Unless the out of control population is dealt with a kibosh and that may not be possible without societal transformation, this violence is going to grow by leaps and bounds. We know hear victims in their ten’s but sooner if not later we should prepare ourselves to hear the number of victims reaching in their ten’s and hundreds of thousands. The area where the violence takes place could spread like a wild fire covering areas which we may think now it will be impossible or will never get there. Sooner or later external demons like the Wahhabis may come in with their deep pockets to establish an outpost that they have been dreaming for centuries. Others from a well known next door may also intensify their fanning of such divisive violence. Again this violence is not something that has just been created. Even the current ethnic regional administrative arrangement is not the one that made it up. Such conflicts used to be confined out at remote locations far away from major populated towns but now it is slowly engulfing them. Today it may be Mulu, Butuji, Arbaa, Awaday or Chinakson. Tomorrow it will be Chiro, Hirna, Doba, Wachoo, Beddesaa, Boke Tiko. Awash, Adama, Dire Dawa, Harar and even Addis(Finfine) may be in the cross hairs of similar mayhem soon or later. You mark my word for it. My daily prayer is for me not live to see that day on this good earth. I never felt hopeless and helpless in my entire life such as now on hearing this senseless violence. Thanks to the corrupt system that has been ravaging the society since the 1970’s, the power and pragmatism of traditional elders seems to have been successfully washed away. They had been called reactionaries and butchered by the demonic Mengistu and they have been forced to wither away by the strong hand policies of the current regime also. Some of you who read this comment may find me to be hopeless or a doomsday monger. But I am not totally hapless. I am still finding a refuge in the capabilities of The Almighty Our Creator. His Has His Own Mysterious Way To Bring Peace Among Warring Factions!!! That is why I am praying. I am praying for the level heads to somehow prevail. Those of you who are steadfast believers in the power of prayers with clean heart, please join me every day in my prayers. Let’s join hands and pray to The Almighty!!! That country is sitting on a 100 million powder keg. As I have been all along that all it needs is for someone to make the wrong move. Cattle rustling and bloodletting that comes with it can be a perfect flint to spark a raging inferno. And that is and will not be funny. Not funny at all!!!!

    • Jamal Mohammed says:

      Hi Ittu Farda,
      It could make sense for someone who has little information about the area and what you are talking about-really misleading. You are biased fiction writer, and even creating vague and useless tales of your own. A professional person can easily sense that you ever used to write false fictions to make some money at early stages of the manuscript till you get your head under your feet. You thought wrongly, but you need to express the truth behind EXPANSIONARY ideology of the Geda system and Oromo migrations which is still on agenda after centuries. We felt great condolence to our beloved 30 brothers massacred in Awaday town, but the event had signaled the trick behind the Oromo policy. We DID JUST DEPORTING, and will never let them come to us again. ARE we heading to Addis Ababa, or are they heading to Djibouti and Berbera ports???? kkkkkk you are nicely reminding us your poor vision and mere dreams. We are not in the traditional times were you used to talk about cattle and camel rustlers, we are in a 21st century were people know how to earn livelihoods and that is no longer in the current settings. Oromo evacuated people of more than 20,000 Households who are in Kuluji camp, and had been there for a year with additional influx reached the camp during the recent Oromo depopulation. Those in Harrar are deported from Somaliland town of Hargeisa after they killed 7 citizens of that country. Your propaganda is cheap and it is too hard to listen.. Shame on you and the bullshit idea you are seeking to market again

  2. Ittu Aba Farda says:

    For those who never had to live within a region where inter ethnic deadly conflicts had happened, this may be a little difficult to understand. Those of us who happened to be born and live at least our formative years like me know and understand very well about such violence just because we had seen and experienced through it all. It was happening since there were Oromos, Afars and Issas living in close encounters. It was happening during the Emperor’s times and he did not create it. It happened during the demonic Mengistu’s time and he rather ignored it altogether. I had heard that one of the members of the Derg was successful in organizing a meeting for truce between the warring Afar and Issa tribes at the town of Chiro in the mid 1970’s. That Derg member was later eaten up by that cannibal Mengistu. So the problem has been there for ages. But the shift in geopolitical landscape that took place during the last 150 years seemed to have perpetuated it. I will leave the details to those countrymen experts in the science of history but I will talk from experience. Those who grew up around the old railway lines between Dire Dawa and Awash remember who used to be in their majority at every railway station in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. I had my early elementary education up to the 3rd grade at a makeshift school at one of those stations. That school was later shut down due to lack of sizable number of students. But I remember going to a one elementary school at the next railway station for reasons I still don’t know. May be it was their style of a jamboree we know here. I still remember vividly the student ethnic background from the railway station of Afdem(Aware). They were members of the Afar tribe in their majority. I have heard that some of those Afar students from that town are now very successful business men and statesmen in the neighboring Djibouti. We competed in various athletic games including soccer. I remember how our tiny school was having trouble finding enough students to compete in the soccer game. And when did participate, it was a ‘massacre’. Just picture the 1986 Chicago Bears or Brett Favre’s Cheese Heads or Tom Brady’s Patriots playing an elementary school football team. Just like that. Now I am told that Afdem is in the Somali jurisdiction. Every Afar resident has been driven out by force after the 1960’s. Now I know and understand that demographics are made to change over time but to see one in my lifetime was a jaw dropping event for me. Drought is just another fuel but not the real reason behind it all. For many cattle rustlers it is an extremely lucrative business. That has been the case since the establishment of outposts by the British at Berbera and the French at Djibouti. That has been an on-going factor for the unabated deadly rustling. One of my friends who is a member of a Mamasan Issa clan once told me that a cow or a bull that was rustled away from the vicinity of Asabot today can be found on the butcher’s chopping block in Djibouti in just a week. Or even in Aden, Sanaa and Hodeidah in less than a month. And that friend knows what he is talking about very, very well. This includes sheep and goats. One other fueling factor is the population explosion in all these ethnic groups. They have been multiplying irresponsibly for decades now with no means of making a living for their children. So children will continue to march on the same tracks established by their hatchers. They are not rustling with spears any more. They are not rustling with bolt action rifles in their hands any more. They are armed to the teeth with AK-47’s and from what I am reading now they even have RPG’s in their arsenal. These rustlers have grown with a culture that sees settled way of farmer’s lives in contempt. That is why I don’t believe disarming the offenders is the only solution but just a part of it. Unless the out of control population is dealt with a kibosh and that may not be possible without societal transformation, this violence is going to grow by leaps and bounds. We know hear victims in their ten’s but sooner if not later we should prepare ourselves to hear the number of victims reaching in their ten’s and hundreds of thousands. The area where the violence takes place could spread like a wild fire covering areas which we may think now it will be impossible or will never get there. Sooner or later external demons like the Wahhabis may come in with their deep pockets to establish an outpost that they have been dreaming for centuries. Others from a well known next door may also intensify their fanning of such divisive violence. Again this violence is not something that has just been created. Even the current ethnic regional administrative arrangement is not the one that made it up. Such conflicts used to be confined out at remote locations far away from major populated towns but now it is slowly engulfing them. Today, it may be Mulu, Miueso, Butuji, Arbaa, Awaday or Chinakson. Tomorrow it will be Deder, Chiro, Hirna, Doba, Wachoo, Beddesaa, Mechara, Gelemso, Boke Tiko. Awash, Adama, Dire Dawa, Harar and even Addis(Finfine) may be in the cross hairs of similar mayhem soon or later. You mark my word for it. My daily prayer is for me not live to see that day on this good earth. I never felt hopeless and helpless in my entire life such as now on hearing this senseless violence. Thanks to the corrupt system that has been ravaging the society since the 1970’s, the power and pragmatism of traditional elders seems to have been successfully washed away. They had been called reactionaries and butchered by the demonic Mengistu and they have been forced to wither away by the strong hand policies of the current regime also. Some of you who read this comment may find me to be hopeless or a doomsday monger. But I am not totally hapless. I am still finding a refuge in the capabilities of The Almighty Our Creator. He Has His Own Mysterious Way To Bring Peace Among Warring Factions!!! That is why I am praying. I am praying for the level heads to somehow prevail. Those of you who are steadfast believers in the power of prayers with clean heart, please join me every day in my prayers. Let’s join hands and pray to The Almighty!!! That country is sitting on a 100 million powder keg. As I have been all along that all it needs is for someone to make the wrong move. Cattle rustling and bloodletting that comes with it can be a perfect flint to spark a raging inferno. And that is and will not be funny. Not funny at all!!!!

  3. Thanks to Meles vision and Sibhat hide agenda. ..

  4. How ironic is it that Somali region donated millions to Tigre people who returned to Tigrai rigion during the problems in Gondar. Now Somali special forces are forcing Oromos to leave Somali region. Do Somali’s like Tigrians more than the Oromo’s?? Every Ethiopian on this Earth knows the struggling woyane ignited this clash to distract the corruption in the country, slowing economy, shortage of sugar, tell refill cards, $$, benzine, drastic inflation and rise of price on goods. The internal problem is mounting with no real solution. We (all Ethiopians) r all waiting for Tigrai region to give the millions to Oromo people who r systematically forced to leave Somali. We have seen this Woyane Theater in the past. Somali region has not been unaccountable to its budget for many years in the past. According to Ethiopia’s auditor general, Somali region is corrupt, federal budget allocated to the region is waisted, stolen by EPRDF and it’s clowns who ” Lead” the region. Amahara and Oromo are United. Southern people are gradually waking up to 25 years of blindly following Woyane. The young, middle aged and the old together will finally get rid of the oppressor Woyane in 2010.

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