ABIY AHMED RISKS RUNNING DOWN ALREADY FRAGILE ETHIOPIA
By Guled Haji
Selective justice will mean war in a region that is already bleeding. The house arrest and subsequent bundling of the former president of the Somali State of Ethiopia today by the government of Dr Abiy Ahmed is likely to inflame an already volatile Ethiopia that has presided over the colonization and marginalization of the Somali people for centuries. It beats the purpose of what was christened a new era that was expected to bring about sweeping reforms to a country famous for famine and dictatorship. Ethiopia is a country of 82 million people where no legitimate election has been conducted since inception. In the here and now Dr Abiy Ahmed was crowned the king of an illegitimate government that has ruled with an iron-fist, tortured opponents and jailed opposition leaders.
The arrest of the former President of Jigjiga Mr Abdi Mohamud Omar who was under house arrest for weeks in Addis Ababa is seen by many not as a gesture of justice but an affront and selective against one region that is meant to serve the further colonization and subjugation of its people who were up in arms for centuries against the successive dictatorial administrations from the days of Menelik. Mr Omar is alleged to have committed atrocities against his own people just like many other leaders who are roaming free in the streets of Addis Ababa. His arrest is therefore seen as further suppression of the Somali people that will inflame an already volatile country. Abdi must face justice but not at the behest of the federal government. He was an employee of a regime whose leaders are all scot-free.
Dr Abiy Ahmed who is the current president of Ethiopia hell-bent to subject the former regional president to what many see as revenge ‘justice’ is the former deputy head of the national intelligence. The hit squad that had the ultimate authority and shoulders the utmost responsibility of all the atrocities committed against the diverse nations that Ethiopia is occupying. Dr Abiy should not be the president of the nation because of the role played by the national intelligence that must bear most of the responsibilities of the torture and suffering of millions over the decades. Dr Abiy’s senior who was until few weeks ago the national intelligence head under the Tigre rule is on the run. An acknowledgement of the crimes against humanity himself and his unit deputized by Dr Abiy has committed. Mr Gatecho Asefa, the former boss of Intelligence, an instrument of the government Abiy is leading today, was allegedly aided to flee by this same government and is said to be hiding in the Tigre region protected by the same leaders who presided over the cruel destruction of a people and nations. Dr Abiy served willingly under this same regime and therefore should not be the person presiding over any justice but in jail with the likes of Gatecha Asefa and Abay Woldu.
Leaders of other regions occupied by Ethiopia, in particular the Tigrenian and Oromia regions presidents have allegedly committed worse crimes against their subjects under the stern instructions of the federal government worse than Mr Abdi Omar. The immediate president of Tigre region Abay Woldu declared independence from Ethiopia when the former administration of Meles Zenawi who allegedly died of poisoning in a Belgium hospital lost power. The government of Dr Abiy has not raised a finger against him. People are questioning the rational. He was later sacked for his crimes and inefficiency but was in a surprise move appointed as ambassador by this same administration. He is not only roaming scot-free but representing Ethiopia as a diplomat. This is plain ridiculous.
The leader of Oromia is in fact welcomed in Addis Ababa on a red carpet. This is an extreme show of hypocrisy and will quicken the dissipation of the goodwill honeymoon period for Dr Abiy.
The roaming free of other regional leaders under the watch of a federal government that is obsessed with the internal affairs of the Somali state is not only suspect but sending the wrong signals. This is seen not as justice but a bigger game of musical chairs to continue denying the Somali people the freedom they were fighting for since 1920. Mr Lemo Magesa is alleged to have committed torture and killings against the people of Ethiopia but is scot-free. This is an affront against uniform justice.
The administration led Dr Abiy appears to be interested in inflaming the Somali state region and use it as a ploy for its continued colonization and raping of its people and resources.
The humiliating arrest today of the former regional president will complicate matters for the newly appointed president. The forces loyal to the former president are all armed and well trained. All the more than 45000 strong Liyu police have the potential to mutiny and will impact on the newly appointed administration of President Mustafa. They may begin a guerrilla war against the federal government. This will not only complicate matters for the new administration of President Mustafa but fan the flames of war in the region. President Mustafa today expressed disappointment in the actions of the federal government on his Facebook post. This is a sign that he acknowledges what the arrest of Mr Abdi Omar may portend for his new administration. However much his expressed disappointment was lukewarm, it signifies the feelings of the people of the region who Mr Abdi was terrorizing for a decade. They are unanimous that justice for them will be determined by themselves independently and the fate of the former president shall be decided by the Somali state people. They see as cosmetic and an affront against the autonomy of their region for a federal government that has tortured, murdered, jailed and displaced them for centuries to humiliate their former president whatever his crimes against them. Dr Abiy’s action today may dent the progress of peace that was signaled by the new president. Despite all the alleged crimes against humanity President Abdi committed against his people, he has huge support amongst them and of the consensus that any punishment that will be meted against him shall be their sole prerogative. They express discontent and disenchantment in the selective actions of Dr Abiy’s administration since he took over power. Dr Abiy’s actions appear to be further feeding this alleged alienation of the Somali state people that may have a huge negative impact on the foundations of the newly found peace and progress for the whole country. Dr Abiy risks to be seen as a partisan peace builder and not an impartial arbiter.
The people of The Somali state call for the immediate transfer of the former president to a Jigjiga jail, the capital of the Somali state. His fate shall be decided by the new government of jigjiga in wide consultation with its people. Justice served by the federal administration of Dr Abiy will be seen as revenge politics and external aggression against the people of the Somali state. We call upon all people of conscience to condemn against the selective interference of the federal government in the internal affairs of the Somali state.