Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Friday, April 12, 2013, the prominent Somali website Hiiraan.com carried a disturbing report about the cold-blooded murder – in a mosque – of a Somali politician named Abdi Tureey Ahmed “Abdi Gute” in the city of Baladweyn by Ethiopian troops stationed there.

The report included photos of the blood-stained and desecrated mosque where the murder took place and showed pictures of other innocent civilians injured while praying in the mosque when Ethiopian forces entered the holy premises and opened fire on them. In total, three people are reported to have been injured and one person killed.

Ethiopian troops entered this mosque and killed Abdi Gute

Soon after the incident, the governor of Hiiraan region Abdi Faarah Laqanyo visited the survivors in hospital and promised that his administration will conduct an investigation into the incident and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.

But that is simply an empty promise.  If Mr. Laqanyo has any authority at all he would reign on the conduct of the Ethiopian troops in his region and prevent this kind of criminality from taking place in the first place. Alas he can’t. He himself owes his legitimacy to the presence of Ethiopian troops in the region and cannot dare take action against them. He knows where his bread is buttered and the limits of his authority.

What makes this report more distressful is the fact that the targeted victim “Abdi Gute”, who was a prominent member of the administration of the city ofBaladweyn, accused Ethiopian troops of carrying out extrajudicial activities in the region.  He was pursued and killed for this reason.

Imagine the fate of ‘normal’ people if this can happen to serving members of the regional administration.

Until recently, before the arrival of the Djiboutian AMISON contingent in Baladweyn, Ethiopian troops have been running roughshod in Hiiraan region, imposing economic blockade, preventing people from water sources, and shooting anyone who comes close to them.

This kind of gangsterism and blackmail cannot continue and the Somali government must find an alternative to Ethiopian troops inSomalia, especially in border regions.

If any body entertained the fiction that Ethiopian troops are helping the Somali government establish law and order their recent withdrawal from Hudur, which paved the way for Alshabaab to takeover, proves otherwise and shows their sinister plots. If any thing, their heavy-handed actions is further radicalizing the population and throwing them into the hands of extremists. We can only imagine the kind of recruiting tool the mosque desecration will serve Alshabaab and how they’ll exploit this situation.

Its a telling sign of the kind of tentacles the Ethiopian regime holds on Somalia that to this day the Somali government had not condemned the killing of Abdi Tureey Ahmed “Abdi Gute” and the other civilians.

Given the recent carnage in Mogadishu and the resurgence of Alshabaab and the fragile nature of the nascent government in Mogadishu,  I can understand it is not ideal time to aggravate the situation by taking on Ethiopia; but who is there to save these people (yaa u maqan dadkan?) who’re killed by Alshabaab, terrorized by Ethiopia, and ignored by their government?

Nuradin Jilani


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