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Ethiopia: Abdi Iley, TPLF’s Liyu Police Militia head who killed tens of thousands and displaced millions in the Somali and Oromia has been officially arrested. August 27, 2018

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Head of the mass killer militia, Ethiopia Liyu Police, Abdi Illey has been officially arrested.png

Abdi Iley,  the notorious TPLF’s Liyu Police Militia head who killed tens of thousands and displaced millions in the Somali and Oromia  states has been officially arrested. Click here to read Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles.

Ethiopia arrests ex-Somali region head over rights abuses

Abdi Mohamed Omar arrested on charges of human rights abuses and stoking deadly ethnic clashes in restive region. Click here to read Aljazeera news


 

 

Akka maddeen amanamoon jedhanitti Abdi Ileen kan toyannoo jala oole tureera, garuu labsuun hin barbaachifne. Walgahii EPRDF dheengaddaatu eegamaa ture. Warri TPLF walgahii sana fayyadamanii dhiibbaa gochuudhaan Abdi Ilee hiiksisuu fi immunity isaa eegsisuuf hidhatanii falmaa turaniif. Yoo Abdi Ileen tuqame naannoo san tasgabbeessuun hin danda’amu, inumaa naannochi Itoopyiyaa irraa akka fottoqu godhama olola jedhuun warri Wayyaanee dachii balleessaa turani. Garuu walgahicha irratti yaadni gama kaanii waan moohateef hireen Abdi Ilees seeratti dhihaachuu taate. Har’a akka hidhamuun isaa labsamu kan godhames eega haalli naannoo Soomaalee toyannaa jala ooluun mirkanaawee booda.

Miidiyaan Sagalee Wayyaanee kan dur yoo titiifni illee Abdi Ilee irratti teesse akkam tuqama jedhee dheekkamu har’a gab jedhee jira. Rogeeyyiin Wayyaanees akka dur xaxxaaxa’aa hin jiran. Hanga ammaatti yaada hin kennanne. Dhugaan oolee bulee akkasumatti injifanta. Kan itti aanus walumaan laaluuf umrii nuuf haa kennu.


Akka maddeen amanamoon jedhanitti Abdi Ileen kan toyannoo jala oole tureera, garuu labsuun hin barbaachifne. Walgahii EPRDF dheengaddaatu eegamaa ture. Warri TPLF walgahii sana fayyadamanii dhiibbaa gochuudhaan Abdi Ilee hiiksisuu fi immunity isaa eegsisuuf hidhatanii falmaa turaniif. Yoo Abdi Ileen tuqame naannoo san tasgabbeessuun hin danda’amu, inumaa naannochi Itoopyiyaa irraa akka fottoqu godhama olola jedhuun warri Wayyaanee dachii balleessaa turani. Garuu walgahicha irratti yaadni gama kaanii waan moohateef hireen Abdi Ilees seeratti dhihaachuu taate. Har’a akka hidhamuun isaa labsamu kan godhames eega haalli naannoo Soomaalee toyannaa jala ooluun mirkanaawee booda.

Miidiyaan Sagalee Wayyaanee kan dur yoo titiifni illee Abdi Ilee irratti teesse akkam tuqama jedhee dheekkamu har’a gab jedhee jira. Rogeeyyiin Wayyaanees akka dur xaxxaaxa’aa hin jiran. Hanga ammaatti yaada hin kennanne. Dhugaan oolee bulee akkasumatti injifanta. Kan itti aanus walumaan laaluuf umrii nuuf haa kennu.

 

የቀድሞ የኢትዮጵያ ሱማሌ ክልል ርዕሰ መስተዳድር አቶ አብዲ መሐመድ ኦማር በቁጥጥር ስር ዋሉ


ግለሰቡ አዲስ አበባ አትላስ ከሚገኛው መኖሪያ ቤታቸው ነው ዛሬ በፌደራል ፖሊስ ቁጥጥር ስር የዋሉት፡፡

እንደ ፌደራል ጠቅላይ አቃቤ ሕግ ገለጻ አቶ አብዲ በሕግ ጥላ ስር እንዲውሉ ካደረጓቸው የወንጀል ተግባራት መካከል የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰት፣ የብሔር ግጭት፣ በሃይማኖት መካከል ግጭት እንዲፈጠር ማድረግ የሚሉት ተጠቅሰዋል፡፡

ፖሊስ እሳቸውን ጨምሮ በድርጊቱ ተሳትፈዋል የተባሉ ሌሎች አካላትን በቁጥጥር ስር እያዋለ ነው፡፡

በአቶ አብዲ መኖሪያ ቤት 5 ክላንሽኮቭ እና 4 ሽጉጦች በቁጥጥር ስር ውሏል፡፡

መኖሪያ ቤታቸው በፖሊስ ቁጥጥር ስር መዋሉንም ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡

ፖሊስ እርሳቸውን ጨምሮ በድርጊቱ ተሳትፈዋል የተባሉ ሌሎች አካላትን በቁጥጥር ስር እያወለ መሆኑን ጠቅላይ አቃቤ ሕግ መግለጹን ሪፖርተራችን ጥላሁን ካሳ ዘግቧል፡፡ – EBC

 

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Ethiopia: At least 37 people killed and more than 44 wounded after attack by the Liyu police in at least three separate localities in Eastern Hararghe zone of the Oromia State. Over 30,000 Oromos displaced from Djibouti. August 13, 2018

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Six people have also died in Shashemene city and in East Wellega zone of the Oromia regional state on Sunday and Saturday respectively. See the scoop below. 


The number of people killed after attack by the Liyu police in at least three separate localities in Eastern Hararghe zone of the Oromia regional state has climbed to 37, according to Tizita Abay, communication officer of the Mayu Muluke Wereda where more than 30 of the causalities were from. More than 44 have been wounded.  Abdulahi Ahmedi Kawo, another official from Mayu Muluke Wereda also told the BBC News Afaan Oromo service that ten of the wounded were currently receiving treatment at Gara Muleta hospital, in Gara Muleta town while some 36 are being treated at a local clinic.

The attacks happened on Sunday from 10 AM to late afternoon and Sunday to Monday night, in what Mohammed Aliyi, a police officer in the Mayu Muluke town said were a military assault by members of Ethiopia’s controversial Liyu Police “for reasons we are not clear with yet,” he told Addis Standard by phone. However, Taye Dendea, the region’s justice bureau communication head wrote on facebook page yesterday that 31 people were killed, of whom five were women. Children and the elderly were among the victims. Negeri Lencho, Oromia region communication bureau head, confirmed to OBN this afternoon the number of victims and said the attack was in line with the larger pattern of the Liyu Police’s track record in attacking civilians. But the government was working to bring a lasting solution, he said.

Ibsa Abdella, a nurse who is currently coordinating the emergency section for the wounded, told Addis Standard that eight of the victims were admitted yesterday and two were admitted on various times since Friday afternoon. According to Ibsa, sixteen people were also treated for light injuries. “All of them have sustained bullet wounds; of the ten currently being treated at the hospital two are in critical condition: one who is shot is his genitalia area and a second who was shot in his chest area,” Ibsa said by phone from Gara Muleta hospital.  “The second who was hit in his chest is Sergent Mustefa Jamal, a member of the Oromia region riot police.”  Three more of the wounded are also police officers, he said.


ADDIS ABABA (Reuters 13 August 2018) – At least 40 people were killed by security forces in eastern Ethiopia at the weekend, a senior regional official said on Monday.

“The victims were all ethnic Oromos. The perpetrators were members of a paramilitary force,” said Negeri Lencho, spokesman for the Oromiya state administration.

The area has been plagued by instability.

Reporting by Aaron Maasho; editing by John Stonestreet


At least 37 people were killed in a Sunday morning raid in Ethiopia’s eastern Oromia region by the Somali special paramilitary force known as Liyu police, a local official has told the BBC.

More than 40 others were injured, the head of communication for Mayu Mulukke district, Tizita Abay, said.

Women, children under a year and blind elders are among the dead, officials say.

A witness, who survived several shots and a cut on his ear, said the paramilitary troops left him, thinking he was dead.

‘‘While we were sleeping they opened the door and killed my wife, son and neighbour’s child [who was sleeping at his house],’’ he added.

Somali officials have not yet commented on the allegations.

Human Right groups have long accused the special paramilitary force of killings, rapes and other abuses.

The border conflict between the Somali and Oromia region has left thousands of people dead and has forced more than one million to flee their homes in the past year.

Federal government troops have set up a base in the region as they carry out operations to curb the conflict.



Ethiopia: Paramilitaries ‘kill at least 40’ in Oromia region,  Aljazeera

Officials say paramilitary forces from the Somali region carried out cross-border attacks in Oromia’s East Hararghe.


Humna Poolisii Addaa Naannoo Somalee Meeshaa Hikkachiisuf Murteeffame

ህወሀት አጥምዶ መቀሌ ላይ በመቀመጥ የሚችለውን እያደረገ ነው:: በእጅ አዙር የእርስ በእርስ ግጭት የጥፋት ተልዕኮን ማራመድና የተዛቡና ሀሰተኛ መረጃዎችን በስፋት በማስራጨት ህዝቡ ላይ የስነልቦና ቀውስ መፍጠር ነው August 11, 2018

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ህወሃት ሁለት ግንባሮችን ከፍቶ በሰፊው እየሰራበት ነው (መሳይ መኮንን)

 

Abraha Desat of Arena Tigray and Abay Tsehaye, Debretsion Gebremichael of TPLF.

ህወሀት ከቤተመንግስት ተባሮ መቀሌ ከመሸገ ወዲህ ሁለት ግንባሮችን ከፍቶ በሰፊው እየሰራበት ነው። አንደኛው ግንባር የቀድሞውን መዋቅር በመጠቀም ከፍተኛ ገንዘብ ውጪ አድርጎ በየአከባቢው አለመረጋጋትን መፍጠር ነው። ሁለተኛ ደግሞ በማህበራዊ መገናኛ መድረኮች የተዛቡ፡ ሀሰተኛና ህዝብን ሰላም የሚነሱ መረጃዎችን የሚያሰራጩ ወደ 100ሺህ የሚጠጉ አካውንቶችን በዘመቻ ከፍቶ መረበሽ ነው። በቅርቡ መቀሌ የመከሩት የህወሀት ”ምሁራን” ላይ አንዱ የፌስ ቡክ አዛማቻቸው ቃል በቃል ያለውም ይሀው ነው። ” በ100ሺዎች ሆነን መረጃው ላይ መዋጋት አለብን” ያለው ልጅ አሁን አሜሪካ መጥቶ ምን እያደረገ እንዳለ ግልጽ ነው። በይፋ ኤታ ማዦር ሹሙ ጄነራል ሳዐረ መኮንን ለዶ/ር አብይ እንዳይታዘዙ አደገኛ መልዕክት እያሰተላለፈ ነው።

አዎን! ህወሀት በሁለቱም ግንባሮች እረፍት አጥቶ በመስራት ላይ ነው። የምንዋጋው ሁለቱንም ግንባሮች መሆን አለበት። ሁለቱ ግንባሮች ተደጋጋፊ ናቸው። አንደኛው ለአንደኛው እንደፍግ፡ ማዳበሪያ ሆኖ እያገለገለ ነው።

ህወሀት የሚከተለው የቀውስ አመራር ነበር። ህዝብ ከህዝብ ጋር ካልተጋጨ በስልጣን የመቆየት እድል እንደሌለው ስለሚያምን የአመራር ስልቱን ማጋጨት ላይ አተኩሯል። ባይዘልቅበትም ለተወሰኑ ዓመታት ዕድሜን አግኝቷል። አሁን ያለው አመራር በተቃራኒው የቆመ ነው። ከግጭት ይልቅ ሰላምን የሚመርጥ አስተዳደር ነው። ህወሀት የማወከ ስትራቴጂ ነድፎ፡ በግልጽ ጦርነት እያወጀ እንኳን የሚታገስ አመራር ነው ቤተመንግስት ያለው። በእርግጥ ትዕግስት ድንበር አለው። ሀገርን ወደ ለየለት ቀውስ ለመክተት ሁለት ግንባሮችን የከፈተ አጥፊ ቡድንን መታገሱ እስከመቼ ሊዘልቅ ይችል ይሆን? እነአብይ የመረጡት መንገድ ህወሀትን ከጥፋት ጉዞው ያስቆመዋልን?

ጠ/ሚር አብይ ህወሀትን እያፈራረሱት መሆኑ ግልጽ ነው። በጥበብና በድፍረት በፌደራል መንግስቱ ያሉትን የህወሀትን መዋቅሮች በማወላለቅ በአጭር ጊዜ ከመንግስትነት ወደተራ ሽፍታ ቡድን እንዲቀየር ማድረጋቸው አስደማሚ ነው። በዚህ ፍጥነት ህወሀት ተሰባብሮ ከነጥቁር ታሪኩ ወደ መፈጠሪያ ዋሻው ደደቢት እንዲጠጋ የተደረገበት ድምጽ አልባው መፈንቅለ መንግስት በሆሊውድ መንደር ቢሆን ጥሩ ፊልም የሚወጣው ታሪክ ነው። ህወሀት ከእንግዲህ ወደ አራት ኪሎ ቤተመንግስት የሚመመለስበት አንድም እድል የለውም። በምርጫ አይችልም። ለምርጫ የሚያበቃ ተፈጥሮአዊ ባህሪ የለውም። ሌላው መንገዱ ሃይል ነው። ሞትን የማይፈራው ትውልድ በእነዶ/ር አብይ እየተመራ ህወሀት በሀይል ልሞክር ቢል ትርፉ እስከወዲያኛው መጥፋት ነው። አጉል አሟሟት ነው። ቢሞክሯት ጥሩ ነበር።

ህወሀት ለጊዜው ያለው ምርጫ መረበሽ ነው። ማወክ ነው። የስነልቦና ጦርነት ማወጅ ነው። በዝርፊያ በተከማቸ ገንዘብ በየአቅጣጫው ብጥብጥ መፍጠር ነው። ለዚህም ሁለት ግንባሮችን በይፋ ከፍቷል። ሁለቱ ግንባሮች ጊዜያዊ ሰላም መደፍረስን እያስከተሉ ነው። ለሰላም፡ እርቅና እድገት የሚውለውን ጊዜና ገንዘብ መብላት ጀምረዋል። እናም ነቅተንና አስምረን የተከፈቱትን ግንባሮች ልንዋጋቸው ይገባል። ከምንጊዜውም በላይ ጥንቃቄ የሚፈልግ ዘመን ላይ ነን። ከስሜት ግልቢያ ወጥተን፡ በዕውቀትና በእርጋታ፡ ከአንድ ሰሞን ዘመቻ ተላቀን በራዕይና ተልዕኮ በተቀረጸ የተግባር እርምጃ ላይ እናተኩር ዘንድ የሁላችን ቅን ልቦናና ዝግጁነት የሚጠይቅበት ወቅት ላይ ነን።

ህወሀት በአንደኛው ግንባሩ የሚችለውን እያደረገ ነው። በሶማሌ ክልል በእጅ አዙር የከፈተበትን የእርስ በእርስ ግጭት እንደተፈራው ሀገርን የሚገነጣጥል ባይሆንም ጠባሳ አሳርፎብናል። በቅማንት አከባቢ የቀበረው ፈንጂም በአግባቡ ካልተነቀለ የፈነዳ ዕለት ጥፋቱ አደገኛ ሊሆን ይችላል። በሌሎች አከባቢዎችም ተመሳሳይ የልዩነት ቦምቦችን አጥምዶ መቀሌ ላይ በመቀመጥ የሚፈነዱበትን ሰዓት እየጠበቀ ነው። የዶ/ር አብይ አስተዳደር ይህን ግንባር ብቻውን አይመክተውም። የኢትዮጵያውያን ድጋፍና ደጀንነት ለጥያቄ የሚቀርብ አይደለም። የህወሀትን የጥፋት ተልዕኮ ማሳካትም፡ ማምከንም የሚችለው ህዝባችን ነው። እነዶ/ር አብይ በጥበብ የሚያደርጉትን የማረጋጋት ሀገራዊ ስራ ትንሽ ፍጥነት ጨምረውበት ከቀጠሉና የህዝባቸውን ድጋፍ ካገኙ የህወሀት አንደኛው ግንባር ድባቅ መመታቱ አይቀርም።

ሁለተኛው ግንባር የተዛቡና ሀሰተኛ መረጃዎችን በስፋት በማስራጨት ህዝቡ ላይ የስነልቦና ቀውስ መፍጠር ነው። ጦር ከፈታው ወሬ የፈታው እንዲሉ በተባራሪ፡ አፍና ጭራ በሌላቸው ሀሰተኛ ወሬዎች ህዝባችን ምን ያህል እንደሚደናገጥ የሰሞኑን ”የአብይ የመግደል ሙከራ” ወሬ አይነተኛ ማሳያ ይሆናል። ዶ/ር አብይ ዛሬ በቴሌቪዥን መስኮት ቀርበው ”ህዝባችን ሰምቶ ከሚወስን ለምን አይመርምርም?” ዓይነት ወሳኝ ነጥብ አንስተዋል። ግጭቶች የሚከሰቱት እውነት ላይ ተመስርተው እንዳልሆነና በስማ በለው በሚሰራጭ ሀሰተኛ መረጃዎች መሆኑን ጠ/ሚር አብይ ጠቆም አድርገዋል። እውነት ለመናገር የሚቀርበን የምንሰማው እንጂ የምናየው አይደለም። በገሀድ ከሚታየው ይልቅ በሹክሹክታ የምንሰማው ቀልባችንን ይገዛዋል። ህወሀት ይህችን ደካማ ጎናችንን ጠንቅቆ አውቆታል። በመቶ ሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ የፌስቡክና የቲውተር አካውንቶችን በመክፈት ካለፈው ሳምንት መጀመሪያ አንስቶ በሰፊው የተሰማራበትን ግንባር ከፍቷል።

የህወሀት የፌስ ቡክ ሰራዊት በብዛት የገባበት በተሳሳተ መረጃ የስነልቦና ሽብር የመፍጠር ጦርነት የሰሞኑ ግርግርና ብዥታን አስከትሏል። የፌስቡክ ሰራዊቱ አባላት ማለያ እየቀያየሩ፡ የብሄር ታፔላ እየያዙ ህዝብን ከህዝብ የሚያጋጩ፡ አንዱን ብሄር የሚያጥላሉ፡ በሌላው ብሄር ማለያ ተከስተው የሚያነግሱ፡ ፍጹም ሃላፊነት በጎደለው መልኩ ሀገርን በሀሰተኛ መርጃዎች በማጥለቅለቅ ደረቱን ለጥይት ያልሳሳውን ትውልድ በወሬ ለማንበርከክ በሰፊው ተሰማርተዋል። በአማራና በኦሮሞ ስም በተከፈቱት እነዚህ አካውንቶች ስር የመሸጉት የህወሀት የጥፋት ሃይሎች ሰርግና ምላሽ ሆኖላቸዋል። በቀላሉ በፈጠራና አሉባልታ ወሬዎች የሚሸበር ህዝብ አግኝተዋል። ከመጀመሪያ ግንባር የበለጠ አደጋ ሊፈጥር የሚችለው ሁለተኛው ግንባር ነው። በህወሀት የስነልቦና ጦርነት እጅ ሰጥቶ መሸበርን የመሰለ ሽንፈት የለም።


Related:

TPLF: Stabbing Ethiopians in the Back

Furthermore, using their former influence, strong ties with security and police agents and other groups, they will spare no efforts to bring chaos and upset peace and order in Ethiopia (for example the present instability in Somali region) by instigating protests, killings, riots and stirring up street politics, to say the least.

Finally, holding all the aces of Ethiopia enabled the nefarious group of the TPLF to feather their nest quite comfortably. In addition to this, they are now attempting to destabilize Ethiopia by sponsoring and financing violence in many parts of the country to create another Yugoslavia in the Horn of Africa. … Click  here to read more


 

Human Rights Watch Report: Ethiopia: Torture in Somali Region (Ogaden) Prison: Senior Officials Implicated in Nonstop Regimen of Abuse July 5, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist HRW

Ethiopia: Torture in Somali Region Prison

Senior Officials Implicated in Nonstop Regimen of Abuse

Human rights Watch, 4 July 2018

በ Ethiopia ከሰሞኑ ግጭትና አለመረጋጋት በስተጀርባ የህወሓት/TPLF እጅ አለበት! June 13, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

ከላይ በተጠቀሰው መሰረት፣ ላለፉት 27 ዓመታት በኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ ለረጅም ግዜ በስልጣን ላይ በመቆየታቸው ምክንያት በከፍተኛ የሞራል ዝቅጠት ውስጥ የወደቁት፣ በዚህም ሕግና ስርዓትን እንዲያስከብሩ የተሰጣቸውን ስልጣን ለሌብነትና የኮንትሮባንድ የሚያውሉት፣ እንዲሁም የዴሞክራሲያዊ መብትና ፍትሃዊ ተጠቃሚነት ጥያቄ የሚያነሱ ዜጎችን በወታደራዊ ጉልበት የሚያዳፍኑት፣ በዚህም ፍርሃትና ሽብር በመፍጠር ሕገ መንግስታዊ ስርዓቱን ለማስከበርና ስልጣናቸውን ለማራዘም ጥረት የሚያደርጉት ህወሓትና ህወሓቶች አይደሉምን?

በአጠቃላይ ሰሞኑን በደቡብ ክልልና ሐረሪ፣ ከዚያ በፊት ደግሞ በቤኒሻንጉል-ጉሙዝ፥ ኦሮሚያ፥ አፋር፥…ወዘተ ግጭትና አለመረጋጋት የሚቀሰቀሰው በህወሓት ባለስልጣናትና ተላላኪዎቻቸው ነው። ምክንያቱም፣ አንደኛ፡- በዜጎች ላይ ሽብርና ፍርሃት በመፍጠር የፖለቲካ ትርፍ የሚያገኙት ህወሓቶችና የእነሱ ተላላኪዎች ብቻ ናቸው። ሁለተኛ፡- ላለፉት 27 አመት የተዘረጋው መንግስታዊ ስርዓት ሆነ የህወሓት ባለስልጣናት ያላቸው ተቀባይነት ከሕዝብ ፍቃድና ምርጫ ይልቅ በወታደራዊ ጉልበትና የበላይነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ነው። በመሆኑም በዜጎች ላይ ሽብርና ፍርሃት በመፍጠር ካልሆነ በስተቀር ተቀባይነት ሊኖረው አይችልም። ከዚህ አንፃር በተለያዩ የሀገሪቱ አከባቢዎች ለሚቀሰቀሱት ግጭቶችና አለመረጋጋቶች የህወሓቶች እጅ አለበት። በተለይ ከትላንት ጀምሮ ከወልቂጤና ሐዋሳ የሚመጡት መረጃዎች ይህንን የሚያረጋግጡ ናቸው።

via ከሰሞኑ ግጭትና አለመረጋጋት በስተጀርባ የህወሓት እጅ አለበት!

Ethiopia: Police unit unlawfully killing people must be stopped. The Ethiopian government must immediately withdraw and disband the Liyu police unit of the Somali regional state. – Amnesty International #Prevent #Genocide June 1, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Amnesty Internationaltplf-ethiopias-federal-army-abbay-tsehaye-and-samora-yunus-are-architects-of-the-ongoing-ethnic-cleansing-against-oromo-in-south-and-eastern-oromia

Ethiopia: Police unit unlawfully killing people must be stopped

The Ethiopian government must immediately withdraw and disband the Liyu police unit of the Somali regional state, whose members are unlawfully killing people in neighbouring Oromia region, Amnesty International said today.

Members of the unit, set up by the Somali state as a counter-terrorism special force, this week burnt down 48 homes belonging to Oromo families who were living in Somali, forcing them to flee to Kiro in the regional state of Oromia.

The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu unit and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu police and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

On 23 and 24 May the unit also attacked four neighborhoods in the Chinaksen district of East Oromia, killing five farmers and burning down around 50 homes. These attacks caused residents to flee their homes looking for safety.

The authorities must put an end to what appears to be state-sanctioned violence. The first step is to ensure all policing in Oromia is respectful of human rights.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“The authorities must put an end to what appears to be state-sanctioned violence. The first step is to ensure all policing in Oromia is respectful of human rights. The next is to hold those responsible for these attacks to account through thorough, impartial and independent investigation.”

In 2017, incursions into Oromia by the unit led to the deaths of hundreds and the displacement of more than one million, according to a report by Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to implement the recommendations of the 2004 referendum, which voted for a clear demarcation of the Oromia-Somali border, as a means of addressing the root causes of tensions in the region.

The Ethiopian government must immediately withdraw and disband the Liyu police unit of the Somali regional state, whose members are unlawfully killing people in neighbouring Oromia region, Amnesty International said today.

Members of the unit, set up by the Somali state as a counter-terrorism special force, this week burnt down 48 homes belonging to Oromo families who were living in Somali, forcing them to flee to Kiro in the regional state of Oromia.

The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu unit and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu police and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

On 23 and 24 May the unit also attacked four neighborhoods in the Chinaksen district of East Oromia, killing five farmers and burning down around 50 homes. These attacks caused residents to flee their homes looking for safety.

The authorities must put an end to what appears to be state-sanctioned violence. The first step is to ensure all policing in Oromia is respectful of human rights.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“The authorities must put an end to what appears to be state-sanctioned violence. The first step is to ensure all policing in Oromia is respectful of human rights. The next is to hold those responsible for these attacks to account through thorough, impartial and independent investigation.”

In 2017, incursions into Oromia by the unit led to the deaths of hundreds and the displacement of more than one million, according to a report by Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to implement the recommendations of the 2004 referendum, which voted for a clear demarcation of the Oromia-Somali border, as a means of addressing the root causes of tensions in the region.


War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s militarism and its Janjaweed style Liyu Police continue with genocide mass killings in Oromia. #Cinaaqsan #Baatee May 27, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

tplf-ethiopias-federal-army-abbay-tsehaye-and-samora-yunus-are-architects-of-the-ongoing-ethnic-cleansing-against-oromo-in-south-and-eastern-oromiaNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

Click here for OMN News on attacks in Cinaaqsan: Oduu Caamsaa 26, 2018

At least four killed, 250 homes burned in renewed Somali Liyu Police attacks inside Oromia


(OPride)—At least four people were killed and five others wounded in renewed cross-border attacks this week by the Ethiopian Somali State Liyu Police in Oromia’s East Hararghe zone. More than 250 houses were razed to the ground and hundreds of civilians are internally displaced, according to locals and media reports.

Oromia and the Somali state share a nearly 900 miles-long porous border. The latest incursions by the Somali paramilitary force into the Cinaksan district, which straddles the common border, is testing Ethiopia’s uneasy calm.

Local residents say the highly coördinated attacks are part of a territorial expansion policy by the president of Somali regional state, Abdi Mohamud Omar, better known as Abdi Illey.

Nearly 30 schools remain closed since the attacks began on May 23 and the learning and teaching process has been disrupted, according to the Voice of America’s Afaan Oromoo program.

Last year, similar raids and cross-border attacks along the Oromia-Somali border by the Liyu police led to the displacement of more than 1.6 million people, mostly ethnic Oromos. Ethiopian authorities blamed the unprecedented violence on rent-seekers and corrupt officials involved in a lucrative contraband trade.

Ethiopia is under a six-month-long state of emergency, which was declared in February ostensibly due to fear of inter-ethnic clashes. The emergency decree was supposed to protect civilians and restore peace and stability following years of unrest. The measure specifically called for the deployment of the federal army in conflict hotspots along the Somali-Oromia border. It also forbids local police and armed militias from operating near the common border.

The ongoing Liyu police attacks inside Oromia are in clear violation of the martial law. However, residents of the Cinaksan district say the military Command Post has failed to stop the attacks by Liyu Police. In an interview with the state-run Oromia Broadcasting Network on Saturday, Dr. Negeri Lencho, the spokesperson for Oromia State, acknowledged the ongoing conflict, as well as the loss of lives on both sides and the destruction of properties.

He lamented that the attackers continue to regroup and rearm themselves even after they are demobilized. He also noted that certain forces continue to secretly supply the Liyu police with weapons reinforcement without specifying.

Lencho said Oromia is monitoring the armed incursion closely and have raised concerns with relevant authorities. He vowed to hold the perpetrators accountable and alluded to plans for people-to-people dialogue to maintain cordial and longstanding Oromo-Somali bonds.

Cinaksan district official, Abdulqadir Dasi, on Friday told VOA the situation is “beyond the control of local authorities” and that his office is appealing to Oromia and federal officials for intervention. People in the affected areas voted to be in Oromia in the 2004 referendum and the counties have been under Oromia’s administration for more than ten years, according to Dasi.

Despite public appeals for peace and reconciliation from Oromia State president Lemma Megersa and Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Liyu Police continues to attack Oromo civilians. In his first official act following with his inauguration on April 2, Abiy traveled to Jijiga, the Somali state capital, to defuse ethnic tensions and confer with Abdi Illey. The leaders vowed to end the attack on civilians, initiate communal dialogue and help resettle those displaced in the 2017 violence. Yet armed incursions and cross-border raids continue to occur in many parts of Oromia, most recently in southern Ethiopia’s Moyale district.

Activists now say Abiy’s gesture to prioritize peace and reconciliation was misunderstood and that it is time for the prime minister to pursue “justice” in order to tame Abdi Illey and the Liyu police. The former intelligence officer, Abdi Illey, is implicated in egregious human rights violations in the Somali region, where he has ruled with an iron-fist as the quintessential Big Man since 2010.

Oromo and Somali activists say the renewed Liyu Police attacks led by Abdi Illey and his associates in the military-security apparatus or the deep state are meant to undermine the new prime minister. Regional officials say, unless it is quickly contained, the attacks will used to create a pretext for the extension of the emergency decree in August. Somali activists calling for the removal of Abdi Illey from power have been protesting for weeks.

Similar attacks on civilians and episodes of violence have been reported in the Wollo zone of Oromia region as well. Oromo activists allege the attack is being launched by the Afar State’s police forces.
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More (Oromian Economist sources):

OMN: Weera Baatee, Wallo ( Caamsaa 26, 2018)

Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report: War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: The genocide against Oromo people involving Ethiopia’s Somali region police (Liyu Police), a segment of fascist TPLF’s Agazi forces

Cinaaqsan Xumura Gaafata!
Aanaa Cinaaqsan bara dheeraaf rakkoon ture. Lubbuu lammiilee hedduutu bade. Madaa san hin irraanfanne. Kan caalatti nama gubu dubbichi ammas xumura dhabuu isaa ti. Obsi daangaa qaba. Bakka ta’etti dhaabuun dirqama. Amma gatiin barbaachisu kanfalamee dubbiin sun xumura argatuu qaba!
Gama biraatin dubbii ballisanii laaluu barbaachisa. Gaafa dubbiin tokko ka’u nami cufti isuma qofa dhaadhessuun hin ta’u. Waa baayyee wal faana hoofuu barbaachisa. Namooti gariin “otoo ummati cinaaqsan dhumaa jiruu waan faalama naannoo dubbatuun hin ta’u” jedhu. Kun sirrii miti. Hojiin abbaa qabaatuu qaba. Namuu waan itti bobba’e raawwatuu qaba. Dubbii faalama naannoo xinneessuun hin ta’u. Rasaasi nama har’a jiru ajjeesa. Faalami naannoo garuu dhaloota ajjeesee sanyii balleessa. Kanaaf rakkoo har’aa qolataa rakkoo boruufis yaaduun dirqama. Wal hubatuu barbaachisa! – Taye Dendea

WHAT DOES UNREST IN OROMIA SIGNIFY? – IDA, Africa Watch December 25, 2017

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WHAT DOES UNREST IN OROMIA SIGNIFY?
By Dr. Stephanie M. Burchard*, The Institute for Defense Analyses , Africa Watch


In mid-December, a series of violent clashes between ethnic Oromo and ethnic Somalis in the Oromia region of Ethiopia resulted in at least 61 fatalities. This outbreak of violence followed the deaths
of 16 protesters who were shot by state security forces on December 12 in Chelenko, located east of Mulu in [Eastern] Oromia. Ethiopia was previously under a state of emergency from October 2016 to August
2017 in response to waves of protest that originated in Oromia and swept the country beginning in 2014. What is driving the recent spate of violence in Oromia, and is it indicative of potential larger unrest?

Origins of Unrest

Despite commonalities in language, religion, and culture, Oromo and ethnic Somalis have experienced
intermittent conflict for at least the past 25 years. Their two regional states, Oromia and Somali, share a border that is poorly demarcated. Much of the conflict between the Oromo and Somali groups has historically centered on access to resources and land.
Both ethnic groups complain about being marginalized by the Ethiopian government, which has been
dominated by the Tigray ethnic group. Ethiopia is ethnically heterogeneous, with more than 80 recognized ethnic groups. The Tigray are one of Ethiopia’s smaller ethnic groups, representing about 6 percent of the total population.
The members of the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, which comprises an estimated 35 percent to 40 percent of the population, feel particularly underrepresented by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
Although tensions between the Oromo and ethnic Somalis are long-standing, the most recent conflict needs to be contextualized against the backdrop of previous unrest in Oromia that began in 2014. After the announcement of a development scheme in 2014 (detailed in the August 25, 2016, issue of Africa Watch) that would have enabled the government to incorporate parts of Oromia into the capital city, Addis Ababa, protests broke out across Oromia.
During the initial phases of the project, Oromo leaders accused the government of taking over land and forcibly evicting families. Protests continued and the grievances expanded to include concerns over human rights abuses, political representation, and limitations placed on freedom of expression. The government ultimately abandoned its expansion plan in January 2016 in response to the unrest, but anti-government protests continued to spread to the Amhara community, Ethiopia’s second largest ethnic group, and the capital. The government imposed a state of emergency in October 2016.
Current Conflict Details are sparse about the most recent clashes, but reports indicate that members from the Oromo ethnic group were killed first, which then triggered reprisal killings of ethnic Somalis. The clashes are alleged to involve the Somali Special Police, the Liyu. The Liyu are a paramilitary group created by the government in the mid-2000s to deal with a previous secessionist group located in the Somali region, the Ogaden National Liberation Front. The Liyu have been accused of using excessive force and engaging in extrajudicial killings. Coincidentally, in October, government forces
were accused of killing four people in Oromia who were protesting the delivery of a shipment of arms to the Liyu.
While some are attempting to define the recent clashes as primarily ethnic in nature, activists in Oromia claim that the involvement of the Liyu indicates that it is actually state-sponsored violence.
The opinions expressed in these commentaries are those of the authors and should not be viewed
as representing the official position of the Institute for Defense Analyses or its sponsors.
Links to web sites are for informational purposes only and not an endorsement.
The December 2017 clashes appear to be part of an escalation of violence and protest in the region. From
October 1 to November 30, around 118 violent events took place in Oromia, almost 50 percent of which were protests.
An estimated 200 fatalities occurred and tens of thousands are believed to have been displaced. This increase in violence follows a lull from April to July. Roughly 30 percent of all conflict activity in 2017 has involved the Liyu in some capacity; almost 50 percent has involved state security forces
(military or police).

Government Response to Unrest

The Ethiopian government responded to the 2014 Oromia security situation with a heavy hand. Ethiopian police were responsible for hundreds of deaths during protests from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, at the height of the conflict, more than 1,000 fatalities were reported in Oromia. The government arrested protesters en masse and attempted to control the flow of information into and out of Oromia. During the state of emergency, at least 29,000 persons were arrested, many of whom are still awaiting trial. The government arrested scores of journalists and frequently jammed nonstate news sources to prevent them from broadcasting. According to Human Rights Watch, the government also routinely cut cell phone service in areas where the military was deployed, presumably to prevent information about the military’s actions from being publicized widely.

Conclusion

The Ethiopian government announced in August 2017 that it was lifting the state of emergency due to an
improved security situation, but recent events suggest a resurgence of violence and protest in Oromia. The uptick in violence may signal the beginning of renewed unrest in Ethiopia. This should serve as a reminder that the core issues underlying the previous unrest, namely state repression and political representation, were never adequately addressed.

Click here to read more in PDF: WHAT DOES UNREST IN OROMIA SIGNIFY? Africa Watch, December-21-2017-vol17 (1)


*Dr. Stephanie M. Burchard is a Research Staff Member in the Africa Program at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

 


 

Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles May 28, 2017

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HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF IN THE HORN OF AFRICA: IS THE CRIME IN DARFUR BEING REPLICATED IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN OROMIA REGIONAL STATE OF ETHIOPIA?


It is saddening to witness repetitions of similar tragic events in history. Recurrences of such dreadful events can even sound farcical when they happen in a very short span of both time and space. This is exactly what is currently happening in the Horn of Africa.  It is barely over a decade since the height of the Darfur genocide.  One would hope that the international community has been well informed to avoid repetition of Darfur like tragedy anywhere in the world.  However, it is depressing to observe that the Darfur crisis is in the process of being replicated in Ethiopia.

In this piece, I will explain how the scale of the crisis unfolding in Ethiopia’s Eastern and Southern regions (and those brewing up in other regions) can have a potential to dwarf the Darfur crisis.  The Janjaweed militia (in the case of Sudan) and the so-called Liyyu police (in the case of Ethiopia) are the catalysts for the crisis in their respective regions. For this reason, I will focus my analysis on explaining missions and functions of these two proxy militias.

Sudan’s Janjaweed – Devils on Horseback

In order to draw a parallel between the Darfur and Eastern Oromia, it would prove useful to recap the Janjaweed story.  Janjaweed literally means devils on horseback presumably because the Janjaweed often arrived riding horses while raiding and wreaking havoc in villages belonging to non-Arab ethnic groups. The origin of Janjaweed is rooted in a long established traditional conflict primarily over natural resources such as grazing rights and water control among the nomadic Arabized and the sedentary non-Arabized ethnic groups in Chad and Sudan. The Janjaweed militia were initially created as a pan-Arab Legion by the late Mohammed Gadafi in 1972 to tilt power balance in favor of the Arabized people of the region.  The key point to note here is that the origin of the Janjaweed as well as the conflict between Arabized and non-Arabized people in the region long predates the Darfur crisis which started in 2003.

The beginning of the Darfur crisis signified a confluence of the traditional conflict between ethnic groups with another strand of conflict in the region – the wider conflict between Sudanese national army and regional liberation movements, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army. The latter was still fighting to liberate what has now become South Sudan. In 2003, the government of Sudan encountered setbacks in its military operations against JEM and SPLA. In its desperate attempt to overcome failures in military front and also cover up for its planned ethnic cleansing in Darfur, the Al-Bashir government applied divide and rule tactic, thereby merging the two strands of the conflicts into one.  This was accomplished by organizing, training, arming and providing all necessary logistical support to the Janjaweed militia of the Arabized ethnic group in Darfur.  This was how Al-Bashir’s government has engineered ethnic cleansing and undertaken genocide in Darfur with a brutal efficiency, using the Janjaweed as a proxy militia group.  The number of people killed in Darfur was estimated to range between 178,000 to 462,000. Human rights groups have documented staggering number of rapes and mass evictions and destructions of livelihoods of millions of people in the region.

Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles

“Liyyu” is an Amharic expression to mean “special”, so Liyyu police denotes a “special police”.  If the Janjaweed are devils on horseback, then Liyyu police can be described as demons maneuvering armored vehicles.  It is instructive to examine why, where, and when the regime in Addis Abeba has created Liyyu police.

The Liyyu police was created in 2008 in the Somali People’s Regional State of the ethnically constituted federal government of Ethiopia.  It is important to note that like any other regional state, the Somali Regional State (SRS henceforth) has a regular police force of its own.  But why was a special police required only for SRS?

The key point is to recognize that Liyyu police is nothing but only a variant of the usual proxy politics that has riddled Ethiopia’s political affair during the ruling EPRDF era.  This special force has no separate existence and no life of its own as such but it is just a proxy militia purposely created to cover up for human right abuses that was being perpetrated by Ethiopia’s National Defense Force (ENDF) but also planned to be intensified in its battles against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).

The armed wing of ONLF, the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA), has been engaged in armed conflict with ENDF for many years. This conflict reached a turning point in April 2007, when the ONLA raided an oil field and killed 74 ENDF soldiers and nine Chinese engineers.  This was followed by frequent clashes between ONLA and ENDF. The conflicts have led to gross human rights violations in the region at a scale unheard before. In its report of early 2008, the Human Rights Watch accused the ENDF for committing summary executions, torture, and rape in Ogaden and has called for donors to take necessary measures to stop crimes against humanity.

In an article entitled “Talking Peace in the Ogaden: The search for an end to conflict in the Somali Regional State (SRS) in Ethiopia”, author Tobias Hagmann observes that the creation of Liyyu police is essentially “indigenization of confrontation”.  In other words, the government in Ethiopia established Liyyu police to create a façade that human rights violations in Ogaden and its neighboring regional state are “local conflicts”. This was done pretty much in similar fashion with Sudanese government that resorted to countering freedom fighters in Darfur through the Janjaweed militia.  However, unlike the Janjaweed which were already in place, the government in Ethiopia had to assemble the Liyyu police from scratch, applying doggy recruitment methods, including giving prisoners the choice between joining Liyyu police or remaining in jail. The founder and leader of Liyyu Police was none other than the current President of SRS, Abdi Mohammed Omar, known as “Abdi Illey”, who was security chief at the time.

The size of Liyyu militia is estimated to have grown considerably over the years, currently standing at approximately around 42,000. However, any debate over the size of Liyyu police is essentially a superfluous argument, given that there is a very blurred line between ENDF and Liyyu police.  After all, it requires an expert eye to distinguish between the military fatigues of the two groups. It has been proven time and again that ENDF soldiers often get engaged in military actions disguised as Liyyu police by simply changing their military uniform to that of Liyyu police. In fact, it is a misnomer to consider Liyyu police as a unit separately operating with different military command structure within the Ogaden region.  For all intent and purposes, if we ignore niceties, the Liyyu police is a battalion of Ethiopia’s army operating in the region.

Fomenting Inter-Ethnic Conflict

Liyyu police is a special force with a dual purpose.  The first purpose has already highlighted Liyyu as a camouflage for atrocities being committed by ENDF in the SRS, to relegate such atrocities to a “local affair”, as if it is internal conflict between Somalis themselves.

Liyyu’s second purpose is to aggravate the already existing traditional conflicts between Somalis and Oromos over pasture and water resources.  ONLA in Ogaden and Oromo Liberation Army, OLA (the military wing of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front – OLF) have frustrated the Ethiopian army for decades.  While OLA has had support all over Oromia, it has traditionally been most active in Eastern and Southern Oromia – Oromia’s districts bordering with the SRS.

Therefore, the EPRDF government realized that it could ride on existing traditional conflicts through a proxy militia to fight two liberation fronts. This was carbon copy of how things were done in Darfur, indicating how dictators learn from each other. Except that the EPRDF had to create Liyyu police from scratch, it acted in similar fashion with the way the Bashir government used the Janjaweed militia in Darfur.

Oromo and Somali herdsmen have traditionally clashed over grazing and water resources but such conflicts have always short-lived due to effective conflict resolution mechanisms practiced by local elders on both sides. These conflict resolution systems have evolved over centuries of peaceful coexistence between the two communities. The EPRDF government’s divide and rule strategy has long targeted to change this equilibrium, and exploit the existing conflict to its advantage.

Conflicts have traditionally arisen when herds arrived at water holes, leading to confrontations as to whose cattle get served first, essentially a conflict over “resource use”, rather than “resource ownership”. Conflicts flare up often among the youth but they were immediately put under control by the elders. Besides, each side are equally equipped with simple tools such as traditional sticks or simple ammunitions, so there has always been power equilibrium.  But the regime sought an effective means of aggravating these conflicts by transforming them in to a permanent one.

Such manipulation of the situation was done essentially in two ways.  First, supplying deadly modern military equipment, training and military logistics to Liyyu police, thereby destabilizing the existing power balance. Second, and critically, by changing the nature of the conflict from “use rights” to “ownership” of the resource itself.  The conflicts were engineered to be elevated from clashes between individual members of communities to that between Somali and Oromo people at a higher scale.

The seeds for conflicts were sown in the process of redrawing borders along adjacent districts of the Somali and Oromia regional states. In this process, the number of contested Kebeles, the lowest administrative units in Ethiopia, were made to suddenly proliferate.  Over a decade ago, the number of such contested kebeles already escalated to well over 400. In order to resolve disputes between the two regional states, a referendum was held in October 2004 in 420 kebeles along 12 districts or five zones of the Somali Region. The outcome of the referendum was that Oromia won 80% of the disputed kebeles and SRS won the remaining kebeles.  Critically, regardless of the outcome, severe damage was already done to durable good-will in community relationships due to purposeful manipulation of the process by the regime in Addis Abeba before, during and after the referendum.

Once the referendum results were known, all the dark forces bent on divide and rule needed to do was to nudge the Somalis to claim that the vote were rigged during the referendum and hence they should aim to get their territory back by other means, that is to say by force and the Liyyu police was created to do the job.

Since it came into existence, Liyyu’s operations have often overlapped but with varying degrees of intensities across its dual-purposes.  During its first phase, Liyyu police focused on operations within Somali region. These operations had much less to do with fighting ONLA but raiding villages and drying up popular support base of the ONLF, in the process committing gross human rights violations at a massive scale. Human rights organizations have widely documented arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, rapes, tortures and ill-treatment of detainees in the region.

Over the years, however, Liyyu’s operations have increasingly focused on the second pillar of the proxy militia’s mission – cross border raids into Oromia.  However, Liyyu’s frequent raids into Oromia have not received enough attention from human rights organizations and hence atrocities committed by this proxy militia on Oromo communities over a decade or so has not been well documented.  The authorities in Addis Abeba, who have purposefully sown seeds of conflict to aggravate traditional clashes, have often deliberately misreported Liyyu Police raids as “the usual fights” between Oromo and Somali herdsmen but nothing could be further from the truth.

In a desperate attempt to gain popular support from the Somali people, the Liyyu police military adventures have been conducted in the name of regaining territory the SRS lost to Oromia during the referendum of 2004.  The evidence one could adduce for this is that every time Liyyu Police encroached into Oromia and occupied a village, they would immediately hoist the Somali flag as a sign of declaring that territorial gains.  The proxy militia has done so after attacking and killing large number of civilians and displacing thousands of households in numerous districts in Eastern Oromia: Qumbi, Mayu Mulluqe, Goohaa, Seelaa Jaajoo, Miinoo. Liyyu Police overrun the town of Moyale in Southern Oromia resulting in the death of dozens of people and forcing tens of thousands to flee to Kenya. It was reported that during an attack on Moyale town in Southern Oromia “the 4th army division [of ENDF] stationed just two miles outside the town center watched silently as the militia overrun the police station and ransacked the town. Then the militia was allowed safe passage to retreat after looting and burning the town while administrators of the Borana province who protested against the army complacency were thrown to jail.”

Alliances and Counter-Alliances

The Oromo Peaceful protests erupted on 12th November 2015 and then engulfed the nation, spreading to all corners of Oromia like a forest fire.  Oromo Protests ignited Amhara resistance, and then ended up with Oromo-Amhara alliance.  It became commonplace to see solidarity slogans on placards carried by protestors both in Amhara and Oromia. It should be noted that Oromo and Amhara population constitute well over two-third of Ethiopia’s population. It was historical acrimony and rivalry between these two dominant ethnic groups which provided a fertile ground for the divide and rule strategy so intensely practiced by the current regime which is dominated by the TPLF, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front. The Tigre ethnic group account for less than 6% of Ethiopia’s population.

The Oromo-Amhara solidarity sent shock waves among the Tigrean ruling elites.  The Oromo Protest, Amhara Resistance and other popular protests elsewhere in Ethiopia exposed the fake nature of the coalition in the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF). It has always been an open secret that EPRDF essentially means TPLF (the Tigrean People Liberation Front). The remaining parties, especially the OPDO (Oromo People’s Democratic Party) was cobbled up in haste from prisoners of war when TPLF was approaching Addis Abeba to control power by ousting the military junta back in 1991. However, even the so-called OPDO – lately joined by the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) – felt empowered by the popular protests in their respective regions sending a clear sign that TPLF was about to be left naked with its garbs removed.

Now that the Tigreans realized that they cannot reply on dividing Oromo and Amhara any more, they resorted to another variant of divide and rule – fostering alliance between minorities to withstand the impending solidarity between the two majority ethnic groups. This strategic shift was elucidated by two most senior TPLF veterans, Abay Tsehaye and Seyoum Mesfin, in their two-part interview conducted (in Amharic) with the government affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation. The TPLF-dominated-EPRD’s new strategy was to present the Oromo-Amhara coalition as a threat to the minority ethnic groups, such as Tigre and Somali.  The regime has already experimented pitting minority against majority at different scales: Tigreans against the rest of Ethiopians at national scale, Somali against Oromo at regional scale, and many more similar fabricated divisions at regional and local levels in many communities across Ethiopia.  What is new is the fact that these two relatively separate strands are explicitly brought together and extensively implemented at national scale.

In addition to the interview cited above, one can adduce more evidences to illustrate the new machination by the Tigre and Somali political and security alliance.  For instance, there was an incidence in which Amhara popular uprising caused some ethnic Tigreans to get relocated from the Amhara regional state. What happened next raised eyebrows of many observers: Abdi Mohamoud Omar, SRS President who rules his people with iron fist, declared his cabinet’s endorsement to “donate 10 million birr for displaced innocent Ethiopian people [Tigreans] from Gondar & Bahir Dar cities of the Amhara regional state”.

Further evidence regarding the maneuvering of minority alliance with deadly intent comes from Aigaforum, a TPLF mouthpiece. In an article entitled “Liyyu Police: The Savior”, the website came up with the following jumbled up assertion: “they [Liyyu Police] are from the people and for the people of Somali region; to protect the honor and dignity of their own people and overall Security of the region, and Ethiopia at large. This special force has a mandate primarily to protect the people of [the] region, to secure and stabilize the aged conflict in Somali region of Ethiopia.  This Special force is not like a tribal militia from any specific clan or sub-clan in the region, rather they are holistic and governmental arms —who are well screened, registered and recruited from kebeles and woredas and trained [as per the] standards [of] Ethiopian military training package and armed with modern military equipment. Besides being regional state special forces; they are part and parcel of Ethiopian arm[y].”

In an overzealous effort to glorify the devilish proxy militia, aigaforum inadvertently exposes TPLF by admitting that actually Liyyu Police is part and parcel of the national army, a fact the TPLF politicians have never admitted in public.

Towards full-scale atrocity?

The alliance between Tigre elites and Abdi Mohammed Omar’s cabinet got manifested in the transformation of Liyyu police’s mission from sporadic military excursions to full scale invasion of Oromia. This started by deploying Liyyu police in Oromia to attack and disburse peaceful protestors. For instance, based on eye witness accounts Land-info reported that starting from January 2016 Liyu Police was being used against Oromo demonstrators in many locations, including in Dire Dawa and Bededo.

By the third quarter of 2016, popular protests did not only intensify but literally covered most parts of the country.  However, protests that were inherently peaceful were transformed into confrontations between the protestors and the security forces because the latter have already mowed down the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians during the previous months.  In a desperate attempt to hang onto power, the TPLF dominated regime enacted a State of Emergency (SoE) on October 8, 2016.

An essential component of the SoE is securitization of many regions and transport corridors in Ethiopia.   Particularly, Oromia, the birth place of the latest popular protest, was literally converted into a “high security prison” and Oromos were effectively “put under house arrest”.  Oromia’s regional government was made redundant, being replaced at all levels by Military Command Posts, a form of local and regional government by a committee of armed officers. This was exactly the way it has been for the most part of the previous two decades except that the SoE signaled a temporary move to direct control by the military, abandoning the all too familiar indirect controls through puppet civilian parties such as OPDO.

Soon after the SoE was enacted, Abdi Illey declared an all-out war and the Liyyu Police was unleashed on all fronts along the Oromia and SRS boundary, stretching over a total of close to 1200 km. According to information from the Oromia Regional State, the 14 districts affected in the latest wave of Liyyu Police invasion are: Qumbi, Cinaksan, Midhaga Tola, Gursum, Mayu Muluqe and Babile in East Hararghe; Bordode in West Hararghe; Dawe Sarar, Sawena, Mada Walabu and Rayitu in Bale; Gumi Eldelo and Liban in Guji; and Moyale in Borana.  It is highly significant to note that there is at least 500 km “as the-crow-flies” distance between Qumbi (extreme North East) and Moyale (extreme South West).  Therefore, the sheer number of districts affected, the physical distances between them, and the simultaneous attacks at all fronts indicate that Liyyu’s latest invasion of Oromia is a highly sophisticated and coordinated military adventure which can only be understood as planned by the TPLF-dominated regime’s military central command.

The SoE was enacted with explicit intention of laying information blackout all over Ethiopia, particularly in the highly securitized Oromia Regional State.   For this reason, it is difficult to obtain reliable estimates on victims of Liyyu’s invasion of Oromia.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been receiving reports that dozens of casualties have been, including many civilians in Oromia but “[R]estrictions on access have made it difficult to corroborate details.” Locals indicate that Liyyu police have so far killed large numbers of civilians.  Oromo civilians have given up with the hope of getting any meaningful protection from ENDF, given that by now it has become an open secret that the latter is complicit in the invasion.  Consequently, in a desperate act of survival, Oromos have organized a civilian defense force.  Based on incidents of confrontation between Liyyu Police and Oromo civilian defense force around 23rd February 2017 in Southern Oromia, the Human Rights League for Horn of Africa (HRLHA) reported about 500 people were killed, over 200 injured.  If so much destruction has happened in a few days and few districts, then it is possible to imagine that wanton destructions must have been happening during several months of Liyyu police’s occupation in all districts across the long stretch along the Oromia-Somali region boundaries.  Opride, an online media, reported: “Mothers and young girls have been gang raped, according to one Mayu resident, who spoke to OPride by phone. He said the attacking Liyu Police were fully armed and they moved about in armored vehicles brandishing machine guns and other heavy weapons. They stole cattle, goats, camels and other properties.”

Publicity and Accountability

When it comes to publicity and awareness, Darfur and Eastern Oromia can only be contrasted.  Although it did not lead to avoiding large-scale atrocities, the international community got involved in the case of Darfur at much early stage of the crisis.  On the contrary, it is well over a decade now since Abdi Illey’s Liyyu police began rampaging in Ogaden as well as Oromia but the international community has chosen to turn a blind eye to the regional crisis, which has gained momentum and now nearly getting out of control.

Perhaps the reason gross human rights violations by Liyyu Police has been ignored or tolerated by the international community lies in the fact that some donors have been directly implicated in financing and supporting the paramilitary group. For instance, the British Press has repeatedly accused DFID for wasting UK tax payer money on providing training to the Somali Liyyu Police.  Similarly, there are evidences to suggest that the notorious proxy militia has also been funded by the US government.  It is no wonder then that the UK, US, and the rest of the international community have ignored for so long the unruly Liyyu Police’s military adventures in Ogaden and Oromia.

Last week, the HRW released a report entitled Ethiopia: No Justice in Somali Region Killings. This report is timely in raising awareness of the general public as well as drawing the attention of authorities in the UK and the US, who are most directly implicated with financing the militia group.  However, I would hasten to add that what has been lacking is the political will to act and curb the activities of Liyuu police.  Starting from 2008 the HRW has released numerous similar reports but this did not stop the atrocities the paramilitary group is committing from escalating over the years.

The HRW’s report asserting that “Paramilitary Force Killed 21, Detained Dozens, in June 2016”, indicates that the report is anchored on an incident that happened in SRS about ten months ago.  Although the focus of the report was on the particular incident in SRS, it has also highlighted Liyyu Police’s latest atrocities in Oromia.  As indicated in the report, the SoE related movement restrictions means the HRW had to release the report on the incidence in SRS with ten months delay.  Clearly, HRW and other human rights organizations could not undertake any meaningful independent assessment on the damages caused by the latest invasion into Oromia.  The point here is that while HRW has been grabbling with conducting inquiries into a case in which dozens of people were killed or detained in SRS in mid-2016, Liyyu police has killed and abducted hundreds in Oromia since the start of 2017.

The TPLF dominated EPRDF regime in Addis Abeba has long started sowing the seeds of divide and rule strategy coupled with deliberate acts of fomenting conflicts between different communities.  The motivation is pretty clear –it is an act of survival, a minority rule can sustain itself only if it turned other ethnic groups against each other.  The case of Liyyu Police and its latest invasion of Oromia fits into that scheme.

If not addressed timely and decisively, Liyyu Police’s invasion of Oromia has a potential to turn into a full-blown atrocities that is likely to dwarf what happened in Darfur. Clearly, the tell-tale signs are already in place. Genocide Watch, the international alliance to end genocide, states that “Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility (the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants) or decentralized (terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings.”

In Ethiopia, this situation on the ground is rapidly changing and it requires an urgent response from the international community.


 

KP: Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles: Is the crime in Darfur being replicated in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia? April 10, 2017

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Is the crime in Darfur being replicated in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia?
It is saddening to witness repetitions of similar tragic events in history. Recurrences of such dreadful events can even sound farcical when they happen in a very short span of both time and space. This is exactly what is currently happening in the Horn of Africa.  It is barely over a decade since the height of the Darfur genocide.  One would hope that the international community has been well informed to avoid repetition of Darfur like tragedy anywhere in the world.  However, it is depressing to observe that the Darfur crisis is in the process of being replicated in Ethiopia.
In this piece, I will explain how the scale of the crisis unfolding in Ethiopia’s Eastern and Southern regions (and those brewing up in other regions) can have a potential to dwarf the Darfur crisis.  The Janjaweed militia (in the case of Sudan) and the so-called Liyyu police (in the case of Ethiopia) are the catalysts for the crisis in their respective regions. For this reason, I will focus my analysis on explaining missions and functions of these two proxy militias.
Sudan’s Janjaweed – Devils on Horseback
In order to draw a parallel between the Darfur and Eastern Oromia, it would prove useful to recap the Janjaweed story.  Janjaweed literally means devils on horseback presumably because the Janjaweed often arrived riding horses while raiding and wreaking havoc in villages belonging to non-Arab ethnic groups. The origin of Janjaweed is rooted in a long established traditional conflict primarily over natural resources such as grazing rights and water control among the nomadic Arabized and the sedentary non-Arabized ethnic groups in Chad and Sudan. The Janjaweed militia were initially created as a pan-Arab Legion by the late Mohammed Gadafi in 1972 to tilt power balance in favor of the Arabized people of the region.  The key point to note here is that the origin of the Janjaweed as well as the conflict between Arabized and non-Arabized people in the region long predates the Darfur crisis which started in 2003.
The beginning of the Darfur crisis signified a confluence of the traditional conflict between ethnic groups with another strand of conflict in the region – the wider conflict between Sudanese national army and regional liberation movements, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army. The latter was still fighting to liberate what has now become South Sudan. In 2003, the government of Sudan encountered setbacks in its military operations against JEM and SPLA. In its desperate attempt to overcome failures in military front and also cover up for its planned ethnic cleansing in Darfur, the Al-Bashir government applied divide and rule tactic, thereby merging the two strands of the conflicts into one.  This was accomplished by organizing, training, arming and providing all necessary logistical support to the Janjaweed militia of the Arabized ethnic group in Darfur.  This was how Al-Bashir’s government has engineered ethnic cleansing and undertaken genocide in Darfur with a brutal efficiency, using the Janjaweed as a proxy militia group.  The number of people killed in Darfur was estimated to range between 178,000 to 462,000. Human rights groups have documented staggering number of rapes and mass evictions and destructions of livelihoods of millions of people in the region.
Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles
“Liyyu” is an Amharic expression to mean “special”, so Liyyu police denotes a “special police”.  If the Janjaweed are devils on horseback, then Liyyu police can be described as demons maneuvering armored vehicles.  It is instructive to examine why, where, and when the regime in Addis Abeba has created Liyyu police.
The Liyyu police was created in 2008 in the Somali People’s Regional State of the ethnically constituted federal government of Ethiopia.  It is important to note that like any other regional state, the Somali Regional State (SRS henceforth) has a regular police force of its own.  But why was a special police required only for SRS?
The key point is to recognize that Liyyu police is nothing but only a variant of the usual proxy politics that has riddled Ethiopia’s political affair during the ruling EPRDF era.  This special force has no separate existence and no life of its own as such but it is just a proxy militia purposely created to cover up for human right abuses that was being perpetrated by Ethiopia’s National Defense Force (ENDF) but also planned to be intensified in its battles against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
The armed wing of ONLF, the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA), has been engaged in armed conflict with ENDF for many years. This conflict reached a turning point in April 2007, when the ONLA raided an oil field and killed 74 ENDF soldiers and nine Chinese engineers.  This was followed by frequent clashes between ONLA and ENDF. The conflicts have led to gross human rights violations in the region at a scale unheard before. In its report of early 2008, the Human Rights Watch accused the ENDF for committing summary executions, torture, and rape in Ogaden and has called for donors to take necessary measures to stop crimes against humanity.
In an article entitled “Talking Peace in the Ogaden: The search for an end to conflict in the Somali Regional State (SRS) in Ethiopia”, author Tobias Hagmann observes that the creation of Liyyu police is essentially “indigenization of confrontation”.  In other words, the government in Ethiopia established Liyyu police to create a façade that human rights violations in Ogaden and its neighboring regional state are “local conflicts”. This was done pretty much in similar fashion with Sudanese government that resorted to countering freedom fighters in Darfur through the Janjaweed militia.  However, unlike the Janjaweed which were already in place, the government in Ethiopia had to assemble the Liyyu police from scratch, applying doggy recruitment methods, including giving prisoners the choice between joining Liyyu police or remaining in jail. The founder and leader of Liyyu Police was none other than the current President of SRS, Abdi Mohammed Omar, known as “Abdi Illey”, who was security chief at the time.
The size of Liyyu militia is estimated to have grown considerably over the years, currently standing at approximately around 42,000. However, any debate over the size of Liyyu police is essentially a superfluous argument, given that there is a very blurred line between ENDF and Liyyu police.  After all, it requires an expert eye to distinguish between the military fatigues of the two groups. It has been proven time and again that ENDF soldiers often get engaged in military actions disguised as Liyyu police by simply changing their military uniform to that of Liyyu police. In fact, it is a misnomer to consider Liyyu police as a unit separately operating with different military command structure within the Ogaden region.  For all intent and purposes, if we ignore niceties, the Liyyu police is a battalion of Ethiopia’s army operating in the region.
Fomenting Inter-Ethnic Conflict
Liyyu police is a special force with a dual purpose.  The first purpose has already highlighted Liyyu as a camouflage for atrocities being committed by ENDF in the SRS, to relegate such atrocities to a “local affair”, as if it is internal conflict between Somalis themselves.
Liyyu’s second purpose is to aggravate the already existing traditional conflicts between Somalis and Oromos over pasture and water resources.  ONLA in Ogaden and Oromo Liberation Army, OLA (the military wing of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front – OLF) have frustrated the Ethiopian army for decades.  While OLA has had support all over Oromia, it has traditionally been most active in Eastern and Southern Oromia – Oromia’s districts bordering with the SRS.
Therefore, the EPRDF government realized that it could ride on existing traditional conflicts through a proxy militia to fight two liberation fronts. This was carbon copy of how things were done in Darfur, indicating how dictators learn from each other. Except that the EPRDF had to create Liyyu police from scratch, it acted in similar fashion with the way the Bashir government used the Janjaweed militia in Darfur.
Oromo and Somali herdsmen have traditionally clashed over grazing and water resources but such conflicts have always short-lived due to effective conflict resolution mechanisms practiced by local elders on both sides. These conflict resolution systems have evolved over centuries of peaceful coexistence between the two communities. The EPRDF government’s divide and rule strategy has long targeted to change this equilibrium, and exploit the existing conflict to its advantage.
Conflicts have traditionally arisen when herds arrived at water holes, leading to confrontations as to whose cattle get served first, essentially a conflict over “resource use”, rather than “resource ownership”. Conflicts flare up often among the youth but they were immediately put under control by the elders. Besides, each side are equally equipped with simple tools such as traditional sticks or simple ammunitions, so there has always been power equilibrium.  But the regime sought an effective means of aggravating these conflicts by transforming them in to a permanent one.
Such manipulation of the situation was done essentially in two ways.  First, supplying deadly modern military equipment, training and military logistics to Liyyu police, thereby destabilizing the existing power balance. Second, and critically, by changing the nature of the conflict from “use rights” to “ownership” of the resource itself.  The conflicts were engineered to be elevated from clashes between individual members of communities to that between Somali and Oromo people at a higher scale.
The seeds for conflicts were sown in the process of redrawing borders along adjacent districts of the Somali and Oromia regional states. In this process, the number of contested Kebeles, the lowest administrative units in Ethiopia, were made to suddenly proliferate.  Over a decade ago, the number of such contested kebeles already escalated to well over 400. In order to resolve disputes between the two regional states, a referendum was held in October 2004 in 420 kebeles along 12 districts or five zones of the Somali Region. The outcome of the referendum was that Oromia won 80% of the disputed kebeles and SRS won the remaining kebeles.  Critically, regardless of the outcome, severe damage was already done to durable good-will in community relationships due to purposeful manipulation of the process by the regime in Addis Abeba before, during and after the referendum.
Once the referendum results were known, all the dark forces bent on divide and rule needed to do was to nudge the Somalis to claim that the vote were rigged during the referendum and hence they should aim to get their territory back by other means, that is to say by force and the Liyyu police was created to do the job.
Since it came into existence, Liyyu’s operations have often overlapped but with varying degrees of intensities across its dual-purposes.  During its first phase, Liyyu police focused on operations within Somali region. These operations had much less to do with fighting ONLA but raiding villages and drying up popular support base of the ONLF, in the process committing gross human rights violations at a massive scale. Human rights organizations have widely documented arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, rapes, tortures and ill-treatment of detainees in the region.
Over the years, however, Liyyu’s operations have increasingly focused on the second pillar of the proxy militia’s mission – cross border raids into Oromia.  However, Liyyu’s frequent raids into Oromia have not received enough attention from human rights organizations and hence atrocities committed by this proxy militia on Oromo communities over a decade or so has not been well documented.  The authorities in Addis Abeba, who have purposefully sown seeds of conflict to aggravate traditional clashes, have often deliberately misreported Liyyu Police raids as “the usual fights” between Oromo and Somali herdsmen but nothing could be further from the truth.
In a desperate attempt to gain popular support from the Somali people, the Liyyu police military adventures have been conducted in the name of regaining territory the SRS lost to Oromia during the referendum of 2004.  The evidence one could adduce for this is that every time Liyyu Police encroached into Oromia and occupied a village, they would immediately hoist the Somali flag as a sign of declaring that territorial gains.  The proxy militia has done so after attacking and killing large number of civilians and displacing thousands of households in numerous districts in Eastern Oromia: Qumbi, Mayu Mulluqe, Goohaa, Seelaa Jaajoo, Miinoo. Liyyu Police overrun the town of Moyale in Southern Oromia resulting in the death of dozens of people and forcing tens of thousands to flee to Kenya. It was reported that during an attack on Moyale town in Southern Oromia “the 4th army division [of ENDF] stationed just two miles outside the town center watched silently as the militia overrun the police station and ransacked the town. Then the militia was allowed safe passage to retreat after looting and burning the town while administrators of the Borana province who protested against the army complacency were thrown to jail.”
Alliances and Counter-Alliances
The Oromo Peaceful protests erupted on 12th November 2015 and then engulfed the nation, spreading to all corners of Oromia like a forest fire.  Oromo Protests ignited Amhara resistance, and then ended up with Oromo-Amhara alliance.  It became commonplace to see solidarity slogans on placards carried by protestors both in Amhara and Oromia. It should be noted that Oromo and Amhara population constitute well over two-third of Ethiopia’s population. It was historical acrimony and rivalry between these two dominant ethnic groups which provided a fertile ground for the divide and rule strategy so intensely practiced by the current regime which is dominated by the TPLF, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front. The Tigre ethnic group account for less than 6% of Ethiopia’s population.
The Oromo-Amhara solidarity sent shock waves among the Tigrean ruling elites.  The Oromo Protest, Amhara Resistance and other popular protests elsewhere in Ethiopia exposed the fake nature of the coalition in the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF). It has always been an open secret that EPRDF essentially means TPLF (the Tigrean People Liberation Front). The remaining parties, especially the OPDO (Oromo People’s Democratic Party) was cobbled up in haste from prisoners of war when TPLF was approaching Addis Abeba to control power by ousting the military junta back in 1991. However, even the so-called OPDO – lately joined by the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) – felt empowered by the popular protests in their respective regions sending a clear sign that TPLF was about to be left naked with its garbs removed.
Now that the Tigreans realized that they cannot reply on dividing Oromo and Amhara any more, they resorted to another variant of divide and rule – fostering alliance between minorities to withstand the impending solidarity between the two majority ethnic groups. This strategic shift was elucidated by two most senior TPLF veterans, Abay Tsehaye and Seyoum Mesfin, in their two-part interview conducted (in Amharic) with the government affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation. The TPLF-dominated-EPRD’s new strategy was to present the Oromo-Amhara coalition as a threat to the minority ethnic groups, such as Tigre and Somali.  The regime has already experimented pitting minority against majority at different scales: Tigreans against the rest of Ethiopians at national scale, Somali against Oromo at regional scale, and many more similar fabricated divisions at regional and local levels in many communities across Ethiopia.  What is new is the fact that these two relatively separate strands are explicitly brought together and extensively implemented at national scale.
In addition to the interview cited above, one can adduce more evidences to illustrate the new machination by the Tigre and Somali political and security alliance.  For instance, there was an incidence in which Amhara popular uprising caused some ethnic Tigreans to get relocated from the Amhara regional state. What happened next raised eyebrows of many observers: Abdi Mohamoud Omar, SRS President who rules his people with iron fist, declared his cabinet’s endorsement to “donate 10 million birr for displaced innocent Ethiopian people [Tigreans] from Gondar & Bahir Dar cities of the Amhara regional state”.
Further evidence regarding the maneuvering of minority alliance with deadly intent comes from Aigaforum, a TPLF mouthpiece. In an article entitled “Liyyu Police: The Savior”, the website came up with the following jumbled up assertion: “they [Liyyu Police] are from the people and for the people of Somali region; to protect the honor and dignity of their own people and overall Security of the region, and Ethiopia at large. This special force has a mandate primarily to protect the people of [the] region, to secure and stabilize the aged conflict in Somali region of Ethiopia.  This Special force is not like a tribal militia from any specific clan or sub-clan in the region, rather they are holistic and governmental arms —who are well screened, registered and recruited from kebeles and woredas and trained [as per the] standards [of] Ethiopian military training package and armed with modern military equipment. Besides being regional state special forces; they are part and parcel of Ethiopian arm[y].”
In an overzealous effort to glorify the devilish proxy militia, aigaforum inadvertently exposes TPLF by admitting that actually Liyyu Police is part and parcel of the national army, a fact the TPLF politicians have never admitted in public.
Towards full-scale atrocity?
The alliance between Tigre elites and Abdi Mohammed Omar’s cabinet got manifested in the transformation of Liyyu police’s mission from sporadic military excursions to full scale invasion of Oromia. This started by deploying Liyyu police in Oromia to attack and disburse peaceful protestors. For instance, based on eye witness accounts Land-info reported that starting from January 2016 Liyu Police was being used against Oromo demonstrators in many locations, including in Dire Dawa and Bededo.
By the third quarter of 2016, popular protests did not only intensify but literally covered most parts of the country.  However, protests that were inherently peaceful were transformed into confrontations between the protestors and the security forces because the latter have already mowed down the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians during the previous months.  In a desperate attempt to hang onto power, the TPLF dominated regime enacted a State of Emergency (SoE) on October 8, 2016.
An essential component of the SoE is securitization of many regions and transport corridors in Ethiopia.   Particularly, Oromia, the birth place of the latest popular protest, was literally converted into a “high security prison” and Oromos were effectively “put under house arrest”.  Oromia’s regional government was made redundant, being replaced at all levels by Military Command Posts, a form of local and regional government by a committee of armed officers. This was exactly the way it has been for the most part of the previous two decades except that the SoE signaled a temporary move to direct control by the military, abandoning the all too familiar indirect controls through puppet civilian parties such as OPDO.
Soon after the SoE was enacted, Abdi Illey declared an all-out war and the Liyyu Police was unleashed on all fronts along the Oromia and SRS boundary, stretching over a total of close to 1200 km. According to information from the Oromia Regional State, the 14 districts affected in the latest wave of Liyyu Police invasion are: Qumbi, Cinaksan, Midhaga Tola, Gursum, Mayu Muluqe and Babile in East Hararghe; Bordode in West Hararghe; Dawe Sarar, Sawena, Mada Walabu and Rayitu in Bale; Gumi Eldelo and Liban in Guji; and Moyale in Borana.  It is highly significant to note that there is at least 500 km “as the-crow-flies” distance between Qumbi (extreme North East) and Moyale (extreme South West).  Therefore, the sheer number of districts affected, the physical distances between them, and the simultaneous attacks at all fronts indicate that Liyyu’s latest invasion of Oromia is a highly sophisticated and coordinated military adventure which can only be understood as planned by the TPLF-dominated regime’s military central command.
The SoE was enacted with explicit intention of laying information blackout all over Ethiopia, particularly in the highly securitized Oromia Regional State.   For this reason, it is difficult to obtain reliable estimates on victims of Liyyu’s invasion of Oromia.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been receiving reports that dozens of casualties have been, including many civilians in Oromia but “[R]estrictions on access have made it difficult to corroborate details.” Locals indicate that Liyyu police have so far killed large numbers of civilians.  Oromo civilians have given up with the hope of getting any meaningful protection from ENDF, given that by now it has become an open secret that the latter is complicit in the invasion.  Consequently, in a desperate act of survival, Oromos have organized a civilian defense force.  Based on incidents of confrontation between Liyyu Police and Oromo civilian defense force around 23rd February 2017 in Southern Oromia, the Human Rights League for Horn of Africa (HRLHA) reported about 500 people were killed, over 200 injured.  If so much destruction has happened in a few days and few districts, then it is possible to imagine that wanton destructions must have been happening during several months of Liyyu police’s occupation in all districts across the long stretch along the Oromia-Somali region boundaries.  Opride, an online media, reported: “Mothers and young girls have been gang raped, according to one Mayu resident, who spoke to OPride by phone. He said the attacking Liyu Police were fully armed and they moved about in armored vehicles brandishing machine guns and other heavy weapons. They stole cattle, goats, camels and other properties.”
Publicity and Accountability
When it comes to publicity and awareness, Darfur and Eastern Oromia can only be contrasted.  Although it did not lead to avoiding large-scale atrocities, the international community got involved in the case of Darfur at much early stage of the crisis.  On the contrary, it is well over a decade now since Abdi Illey’s Liyyu police began rampaging in Ogaden as well as Oromia but the international community has chosen to turn a blind eye to the regional crisis, which has gained momentum and now nearly getting out of control.
Perhaps the reason gross human rights violations by Liyyu Police has been ignored or tolerated by the international community lies in the fact that some donors have been directly implicated in financing and supporting the paramilitary group. For instance, the British Press has repeatedly accused DFID for wasting UK tax payer money on providing training to the Somali Liyyu Police.  Similarly, there are evidences to suggest that the notorious proxy militia has also been funded by the US government.  It is no wonder then that the UK, US, and the rest of the international community have ignored for so long the unruly Liyyu Police’s military adventures in Ogaden and Oromia.
Last week, the HRW released a report entitled Ethiopia: No Justice in Somali Region Killings. This report is timely in raising awareness of the general public as well as drawing the attention of authorities in the UK and the US, who are most directly implicated with financing the militia group.  However, I would hasten to add that what has been lacking is the political will to act and curb the activities of Liyuu police.  Starting from 2008 the HRW has released numerous similar reports but this did not stop the atrocities the paramilitary group is committing from escalating over the years.
The HRW’s report asserting that “Paramilitary Force Killed 21, Detained Dozens, in June 2016”, indicates that the report is anchored on an incident that happened in SRS about ten months ago.  Although the focus of the report was on the particular incident in SRS, it has also highlighted Liyyu Police’s latest atrocities in Oromia.  As indicated in the report, the SoE related movement restrictions means the HRW had to release the report on the incidence in SRS with ten months delay.  Clearly, HRW and other human rights organizations could not undertake any meaningful independent assessment on the damages caused by the latest invasion into Oromia.  The point here is that while HRW has been grabbling with conducting inquiries into a case in which dozens of people were killed or detained in SRS in mid-2016, Liyyu police has killed and abducted hundreds in Oromia since the start of 2017.
The TPLF dominated EPRDF regime in Addis Abeba has long started sowing the seeds of divide and rule strategy coupled with deliberate acts of fomenting conflicts between different communities.  The motivation is pretty clear –it is an act of survival, a minority rule can sustain itself only if it turned other ethnic groups against each other.  The case of Liyyu Police and its latest invasion of Oromia fits into that scheme.
If not addressed timely and decisively, Liyyu Police’s invasion of Oromia has a potential to turn into a full-blown atrocities that is likely to dwarf what happened in Darfur. Clearly, the tell-tale signs are already in place. Genocide Watch, the international alliance to end genocide, states that “Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility (the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants) or decentralized (terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings.”
In Ethiopia, this situation on the ground is rapidly changing and it requires an urgent response from the international community.
By J. Bonsa (PhD)

Realeted:-

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