Zecharias Zelalem Profile picture
Aug 13, 2018 29 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: Updates and discussion on you know what region. #Ethiopia ...
With the downfall of former President Abdi Illey, numerous exiled members of the #Somali activism community are returning home to participate in the transition period debates and discussion. Crucial times these are.
Most have heard of Jawar's homecoming, but this man, Mustafa Omer, a renowned outspoken Somali democracy activist has returned to #Ethiopia after 11 years. He paid a steep price, the Abdi regime murdered his brother amd badly tortured his father in 2016 to silence him.
Here's Mustafa's reception. He's second from left and is embraced by fellow activists, rights lobbyists. Mustafa, a scholar renowned for his mastery of English, Amharic amd Somali, is among the most well known activists in the country. Welcome home brother!
Khadar Aden, from the Somali social justice Dulmidiid movement also recently returned. You might remember he had a private meeting with PM Abiy & Pres Lemma in Minnesota where the duo assured him things would happen in Jijiga. Boy were they right.
A plethora of activists and scholars are in Addis, although few have made it to Jijiga as of yet. There is still the likelihood that despite Abdi's arrest, they could face risks to their lives.
Former President Abdi Illey may be reportely out of view, under house arrest in Addis Ababa. But yesterday, the paramilitary force he founded massacred nearly 40 people in Oromia's East Hararghe district. They still pose a deadly threat to peace. addisstandard.com/news-security-…
In the hours after federal troops entered Jijiga over a week ago, multiple sources had stated that Abdi had relinquished control of the Liyu Police to a contingent of Tigryan military officials. Colonel Gebregziabher Alemseged is believed to be among them.
Whether they are still at the helm of the Liyu Police command structure or not is unclear now. It isn't clear who in the organisation or in the interim Somali state government still has the capacity to order yet another brutal killing in Oromia.
The federal government has for now decided not to disband the Liyu Police. There are arguments for and against this decision. For....
The reasoning behind this is that demobilizing thousands of armed young men across the region could lead to a breakout of anarchy, especially if they fear that they may be held accountable for the crimes accredited to their organisation.
While the argument for is that the active organisation is now a highly proficient killing machine. It proved this again yesterday.
The jury woud still be out on whether or not the federal government made the right decision.
Thread is not done...will be back shortly, much more content and updates. Check back.
Ok...among other players back in the #Ethiopia from exile, a number of ONLF operatives who were housed in #Eritrea for much of the past two decades. They seek dialogue and political participation.
As most of you know, the ONLF was designated a terrorist group by the government until an amnesty law removed this designation last month. It appears that the ONLF took up the offer and returned home similar to what OLF and Ginbot 7 have done.
However,unlike the OLF & Ginbot 7 who appeared eager to take up on the olive branch extended to them by the Prime Minister, the ONLF appeared reluctant. The group even initially issued a message declaring the struggle, "not over."
According to a reliable source, President Isaias Afewerki of #Eritrea was furious with the group's dillydallying, and pressured them to take up the offer, telling them the ONLF's armed wing would no longer be based in Eritrea. It is believed Isaias was requested by Abiy to act.
The positive thing is that the ONLF appear willing to meet with delegates and representatives of all factions, even the deposed Abdi Illey's loyalists. In stark contrast with the Dulmidiid who have stated they refuse to negotiate with Abdi remnants.
Meanwhile...it's time to discuss the change in dynamics appointing Ahmed Shide into the position of the #Somali state's regional party chairman will bring.
So let's talk about newly appointed ESDP Chairman Ahmed Shide. He replaced Abdi Mohamoud Omar at leader of the party. Most have only recently been acquainted with him due to his suddenly becoming not just the Ethiopian Communications Minister, but one of PM Abiy's right hand men.
Ahmed Shide has a host of academic credentials from institutions in Britain and the Netherlands. Speaks Amharic, Somali and English. Despite his youth, he has accumulated nearly two decades of work in the government sector in differing capacities, according to Walta.
The VOA's @Salem_Solomon raised the question the other day. Exactly how was he appointed? He appears to have been chosen for the role by the federal gov. Would this abide by the constitution? Was the sitting regional parliament consulted? Wouldn't this be extrajudicial in nature?
It's impossible to determine due to the process' total lack of transparency. Neither the regional government nor Addis Ababa have clarified exactly how the Ahmed Shide appointment came about. One can assume it was a federal gov decision due to his being an Abiy close confidante.
Nevertheless, there may not be strong opposition to the appointment by Abdi loyalists because Ahmed Shide is not just a Abiy Ahmed ally, he worked as a Senior advisor to the Abdi Illey Presidency in Jijiga for nearly eight years.
The reasoning behind his selection? As both someone closely affiliated with the federal government & the deposed former regional President, Ahmed Shide may indeed be a reconciliatory figure that can cater to both camps. He could bridge the gap between Addis & Jijiga.
Unlike former President Abdi Illey, known for his refusal to compromise on anything, the educated and articulate Ahmed Shide could prove to be a far more pragmatic presence atop the party. It is unclear how he himself feels about the recent turn of events in Jijiga.
Of course he has his own spotty history. A picture of him that went viral appears to show him glaring furiously at #Ethiopia Parliament OPDO members who voted against the implementing of a nation wide state of emergency in February. He was among those who voted in favour of it.
Pros: The ruling #Somali regional party is no longer led by a military man with a track record of gross human rights violations.
Cons: It's unclear how much of a role Somalis played in these events taking place. Addis Ababa shouldn't be calling the shots from behind the scenes.

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More from @ZekuZelalem

Aug 24, 2018
THREAD: Time for a discussion on the state of news reporting in the #Somali region. A look at the key sources of information permitted to work on the ground. The situation is dire to say the least. #Ethiopia
As is well known, since 2008 the #Somali region had been under a total blockade enforced by former President Abdi Illey. Meaning beyond state outlets like EBC, media outlets and rights groups were barred access to the region.
Over the years, Abdi Illey organized a consortium of like minded ideologically similar outlets and bloggers to gain access and monopolize the reporting from the region. A considerable amount of investment locked down the region's journalism into the single celled realm it became.
Read 25 tweets
Aug 13, 2018
Who has been arrested for the murders of 6 Djiboutians in Dire Dawa? Or 3 Tegarus in Tana Beles? Or dozens of Sidama/Wolayta in Sodo/Awassa? Or 100s of Oromos/Somalis in Chinaksen/Moyale? Or dozens of Amharas in Benishangul?
Answer: nobody & noone.
#Ethiopia #nojusticenopeace
Add to the list the murdered in Jijiga and murdered Gedeo. In nearly all of these incidents, there are a plethora of eye witnesses, trails that lead directly to suspects, in some cases photographic and video evidence. It doesn't require much searching to lock up perpetrators.
There are those who are trying to use what happened in Shashemene to slam the federal kilil system, or the Qeerroo. Lots of politically motivated mudslinging.
Read 8 tweets

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