Wadhaf News (July 1st, 2011)
“Intaan Halo kale u heesaayaa, Hasheeydii waraabe Haaligey “- Abwaan Bade
To those of us who believe and feel to have neglected their roots for the last 30 years, it time to acknowledge and wake up from the hibernation and go back to roots. The Mass exodus that started at the Somali/Ethiopian war in 1977 continues to result a depletion of the human resources in the region. Even though , the brain drain begun in the sixties where every high school graduates crossed the border to Somalia for a better opportunity, this time the absence of its educators, investors and politicians have been felt greatly across the region. During the 1977 war almost 1/3 of the Somali regions population turned to either be in a camps as refugees or blended to the Somali community and became an integral part of Somalia.
The fall of Said Barre’s government 1991 and the insuring chaos in Somalia prompted a reverse mass exudes to Ethiopia. People who left their homes, business and land in the height of war in the first place to safeguard their self and families are now became vulnerable in the Somali civil war and forced to go back to Ethiopia to their familiar roots. One positive event that has happen while away to Somalia was the demise of then Derg government in Ethiopia and the establishment of a new regime (EPDRF) that at least recognized and understood the rights of the different Ethnicity in Ethiopia, including the Somalis. While on previous successful gov’t Somali’s have been marginalized and were only ruled. This last government opens a new page of federalism among the region. Each ethnic community was given a regional Autonomies with its president, parliament and allowed to run its interior affair, Hence making Ethiopia as a Multi- Ethnic Federalist society ruled by a central government.
While some Somali clans have fully retreated to their original roots during the reverse Exodus, – mostly due to hostilies they encounter in Somalia, others take advantage of the circumstance – being of the same genealogy to their host and opted to take the easy way out and assimilate or even became citizen of Somalia. Some of them even forgot that there were a displace communities to begin with. Such one community is the Jijiga–Awbare-Harowo triangle inhabitants.
Over the course of years since the return, the Somali region‘s political landscape started to shape up. New players with new policies sprung all over the land; People who did not have political capital and influence in the seventies emerged and dominated the political sceneries. To the extent that out of 10 Regional presidency in the last 21 years, all of them but 2 were hailed for a single clan. In a recent event where three vice-presidents and new districts were nominated for the Somali zone, the current president has engaged a policy of favoritism, nominating all positions and districts to his sub clan, while ignoring the other local populations For the first time this kind of injustice towards other clans created an uproar among the residents and happen to be a wakeup call for the whole region. What followed was a reactive and desperation move from individual clans (Not collectively) to voice their displeasure to the central government. Each clan’s elders went to ADDIS to protest against Abdi Iley injustice however as it stands, with amount of bureaucracy and indifference to the plight of these citizens from the central government, they have yet to get a concrete answer.
In spite of the heighten awareness and close concerns it created, to overcome and to untangle the political hegemony that Abdi Ilay and his cohorts set for the last 20 years will not be simple. What is needed is a strategically collective approached to overcome the injustices & inequality – The jailing in the name of homeland security, Harassment, the misinterpretation of the law, the looting of individual properties and the creation of Liyu Police to terrorize citizens in the Somali Region. To undue all these ills several actions must happen in tandem.
The willingness of the Ethiopian Somalia region’s communities who’re currently living in Somaliland, Djibouti and Somalia to go back to their homes to claim their right citizenship. The time of empowering other communities while yours is in shams is over. It’s time to leave others business and run ours.
The formations of community organization in the region that raises the political and economical awareness of such communities. The revocation of the current Kill 5 constitution should be focused extensively.
The Diaspora expatriates with knowhow and Investment capabilities should direct their effort in building the economy and education of their communities in region. With the establishment of Economical power, Political power will follow suite.
More than ever, the Diaspora communities should play advocacy for the lack justices and inequality of their communities in the region