Liyu Police – ONLF’s Legitimate Bandits
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is functioning based on federal system where regional authorities are independent to run their day-to-day affairs. Federal System was introduced in Ethiopia after collapse Mengistu Haile Mariam regime in 1991.
Nine regional authorities form the Federal Government in Addis Ababa. As per federal constitution, the federal government in Addis Ababa intervenes in the affairs of regional authorities during hard-times.
Somali Regional State of Ethiopia (Somali: Gobolka Soomalida) is one of such regional authorities with Jigjiga city its capital; it is the largest state in Ethiopia geographically and third most populated between 68 million strong Ethiopians.
However, the Somali-Ethiopians are unique compare to their countrymen; they involve Somalia heavily and are eligible to claim Somalia citizenship. Somalia’s constitution grants citizenship to everybody who speaks Somali language and from known Somali tribes including parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Somaliland. This is result of land-expansion policy adopted in Somalia from last forty years until today.
The policy of land-expansion allows Somali-Ethiopians to join Somalia Army and government, where they occupy important posts. Many Somali-Ethiopians led the Somalia’s invasion in Ethiopia during 1977 war, including the current President of Somali State of Ethiopia, Mr. Abdi Mohamed Omer (Abdi-lley), and Chairman of ONLF wing that signed peace-deal with Ethiopia Salahudin Abdurrahman Mao’w.
There are thousands of Somali-Ethiopians who utilized such privilege to become citizens of Somalia, and later reclaimed their original identity – Ethiopian – after Somalia government varnished.
President Abdi-lley was former soldier of Somalia National Army, starting from 1980 until collapse of Siyad Barre regime in 1991. He was member of 26th Battalion of Somalia Army in Hargiesa – current capital of Somaliland.
After collapse, he returned to Ethiopia to start new life as an Ethiopian citizen. He did not attend school and possesses no certificate except military training in Somalia. He deserted Somalia Army along with another Somali-Ethiopian Colonel Omar Jees.
Both President Abdi-lley and Colonel Jees were part of a unit who surrendered to SNM freedom fighters. SNM allowed the unit to pass and return their homes. President Abdi-lley returned to his original hometown of Dhagahbur and started new life as Bus Conductor. Abdi-lley joined ONLF enforcing his military skills against ONLF. He reverted to Ethiopia as one of the ONLF who signed the peace-deal with Ethiopia.
The ONLF wing that signed the peace deal with Ethiopia few years ago stormed in the institutions of the government of Somali State of Ethiopia, and they occupy 38 organizations. Even though, they selected peace over fighting, but they maintain close relation with the armed wing of ONLF which fighting Ethiopia Army.
President Abdi-lley and ONLF in Jigjiga want to take revenge against non-Ogaden tribes who did not support ONLF illegal war against Ethiopian Army in last three decades. Today, these non-Ogaden tribes are victims of their support to Ethiopia, while the killers of Ethiopian soldiers are enjoying the power in Jigjiga today – What an unfortunate for Addis Ababa regime!
The hit-men who plotted the assassination of late Former Minister of Transportation Mr. Abdul Majid Hussein are part of the ONLF wing that signed the peace with Ethiopia, and are heading some of the most important security departments in the Somali State of Ethiopia.
The Agenda of both wings of ONLF (Peaceful & violent) is the same: To dominate the government leadership and to take revenge from other tribes in the region who did not support the struggle of ONLF.
The Federal Government of Ethiopia must understand the criticality of the situation in the Somali State of Ethiopia, as it needs quick intervention to avoid any tribal clashes, which will lead into civil war like Somalia.
Federal Government must know that the key state government positions are not been distributed between Somali tribes equally, instead 90% goes to the tribe of the President Abdi-lley (Ogaden – Absame), where other tribes are left behind and considered ‘fraudulent’ because they supported Ethiopian Army war against ONLF.
President Abdi-lley did not establish any development in the region, although, he misleads the public by claiming ownership of development projects by his successors. The major development projects like Jigjiga University, the under-construction big Jigjiga Hospital, Jigjiga Airport, the main road that links GODAY to Addis Ababa, and different vocational training centers including institutes of Minerals, Education, Technical Training, Health, Administration and Management, were established by former governments.
If we examine the current basic social services in the region: Somali State of Ethiopia contains 68 districts and 99% of these districts don’t have running and clean water. We all know water is the lifeline of the human being. The question lingering is: what kind of development does Mr. Abdi-lley talks about on the media… he is a walking mouth.
Let us go back to the main topic, Liyu Police means ‘Special Police’ in English. LIYUU is an Amharic word that means ‘Special’.
It was formed few years ago to fight ONLF terrorists. The Federal Government of Ethiopia provided a lot of training and equipment to the Liyu Police, in order to end the illegal war of ONLF terrorist group.
In this article, we will discuss the current illegal activities of the LIYUU BOLIS in the state, and if they are functioning within the scope of their framework laid by Addis Ababa government, which was to fight ONLF.
The federal government plotted expensive budget for Liyu Police, and every year the government recruits new members, without examining and understanding the hidden and illegal agenda of Liyu Police leaders like President Abdi-lley, which is to displace and eliminate all non-Ogaden ethnic groups from Somali State of Ethiopia.
It is true that Liyu Police confronted ONLF fighters in many occasions, however, the question is in the manner, in which they combating ONLF bandits, and whether the current leaders of Liyu Police are serious of fighting ONLF?
Starting from the creation of Liyu Police there are no major signs of damage in ONLF’s military muscles, in contrary, the guerilla group increased its activities across the Somali Region and even recruits across Ogaden tribe. The majority of ONLF’s new recruits were victims of torture at the hands of Liyu Police and want revenge.
Now, security of many areas in the Somali State of Ethiopia is not reliable like Fiiq, Qoraxay, Dhagahbur, Wardheer and Goday, even in Jigjiga, one may need security to move in many parts of the city.
Liyu Police avoid visiting the locations known for ONLF fighters instead attack peaceful places like Harshin, Daroor, Baligubadle, Gashamo and many other villages in the ex-Reserve Area because the majority of the inhabitants in these areas are non-Ogaden tribes, which gives Liyu Police the right to kill.
Recently, Liyu Police killed more than 20 civilians in Harshin and Gashamo districts and arrested many others in Baligubadle.
Such illegal attacks on non-ogaden tribes forced the residents of these villages to regroup and defend their families and properties, which led recent clashes between the residents and Liyu Police in Harshin.
In this year, the Liyu Police arrested scores of unarmed civilians including highly respected tribe chiefs who visited the place of the clashes in Harshin, in order to reassure the wellbeing of their tribesmen. The people of these villages requested help from the government in Somali State of Ethiopia but ONLF regime in Jigjiga turned its back to the people.
The people lost their trust in Liyu Police and government in Jigjiga, and they are taking up arms to protect their families and properties against Liyu Police, who commit mass-killing, rape and rob the livestock between non-ogaden tribes.
Today and due to such illegal and tribe-minded activities, all the non-Ogaden ethnic groups in the Somali Region of Ethiopia describe Liyu Police as ‘Legitimate Bandits’.
Recently, there were tribal conflict in Dhagahbur between sub-tribes of Isaaq community and Ogaden groups. The Liyu Police took the side of Ogaden killing the Isaaq community indiscriminately, which illustrates the hidden agenda of LIYUU BOLIS to enflame hatred between the peaceful tribes in the region. As usual, the government in Jigjiga remains silent-witness, as they are part of the ethnic-cleansing agenda against non-Ogaden tribes.
In many occasions, the President Abdi-lley asked the Isaaq community to leave their area in Ethiopia and go to Somaliland, as he believes that Somali State of Ethiopia belongs to Ogaden only. He made such announcement on his mouthpiece websites like cakaaranews, SomaliState, Xaajo and Abaaqaro.
In the Sallaxaad area of Fiiq, Liyu Police regularly insults the people of FIQI CUMAR (Sheekhaal) tribe, and displaced many of the Sheekhaal ethnic group.
The president Abdi-lley is devoted to the interest of his tribe – Ogaden, Absame – instead of serving all Somali-Ethiopians.
The soldiers of Liyu Police are underage boys, which violates international rules against child-soldering. They don’t respect codes of the culture, religion and even don’t receive proper training on human rights.
Majority of the Liyu Police members drink alcohol and other forms of drugs, which is against the culture of the Somalis in the region. Even, the majority of the civilians in the region believe that Liyu Police are not ‘Believers’ because of their inhuman activities.
This will damage the record of Ethiopia in human rights.
It is very obvious that Liyu Police is operating against their framework and creating instability in the region, rather than, fighting ONLF terrorist group. The hidden agenda of Liyu Police is getting exposed day-after-day due to their illegal operations against the non-Ogaden tribes. However, Liyu Police and their chief Cabdi-lley must know that only the almighty Allah who created the non-Ogaden tribes in the region can only displace them.
We can say that ‘Legitimate Bandits’, as Somali-Ethiopians describe LIYUU BOLIS, is a tragedy in the region, and needs correction and interference from the Federal Government of Ethiopia before the region turns into violent, which could attract other terrorist groups like Al-Shabab.
Picture: President Abdi-lley
By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi