By Tedla Asfaw
While Ethiopians were celebrating the reconciliation between the exiled and home synod in Addis Ababa yesterday by coincidence or not churches were burnt down in Somali region of Ethiopia and the news coming from the region at this moment is very disturbing.
Eye witness account of the killing and looting is going on as darkness fall in Jijiga today Sunday August 5, 2018 the capital of the Somali region. Many are sheltered in church and in friends houses. The special force which is armed by UK is roaming the streets with pickup cars .
The Ethiopian defense forces estimated around 500 are in the city but failed to save lives. The Ethiopian government is quite about the incident so far. The voice of America Somali service reported 29 people killed by vigilante groups almost all of the dead are non Somalis. Others put the dead more than sixty.
Priests of the Ethiopian orthodox churches were also burnt down with their churches. Such things never happened during the Ethio Somalia war in the 1970s.
The Warlord of the Somali region Abdi Illey and the TPLF controlled army had close relationship fighting Al Shabab and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in the last few years.
ONLF is now siding with Abdi Illey whom they accused of extrajudicial killing and torture in the past. This is classic Somali politics. They are fighting the Oromo led EPRDF and Ethiopians and the solidarity is natural.
To no one surprise the TPLF that lost power to the OPDO of Abyi is siding with their ally Abdi Illey and the ONLF and are demanding restraint by the Ethiopian army.
This is a big test for Prime Minister Abyi. Ethiopians will not seat idle while their churches and priests are burnt down.
The crisis in Somali region and the sabotage by TPLF old guards in Mekele are inseparable. The army TPLF built and led either should protect the citizens in Jijiga, watching the slaughtering of our citizens is a dereliction of duty and the army must be pulled out and be replaced by patriotic Ethiopian fighters from all over Ethiopia in a short order.
The ball is in Abyi’s court now. The change that he unleashes is now tested in Jijiga and Mekele the former with gun and the latter with its insiders in the Ethiopian army.
A government which can not protect its citizens from Rwanda type of attack is finally will disintegrate. It is time to clean the mess in Somali and Tigray region if needed by dissolving the current OPDO led EPRDF and establishing a military government led by Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed who has wide support in Ethiopia.
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