SOMALI REGION’S TWO YEARS OF TRANSITION: SUCCESSES AND SHORTCOMINGS
Somali region is one of the Ethiopia’s 10 regional states, the largest in land mass with an estimated population of 7-8 million, inhabited by the third largest ethnic group after Oromo and Amhara. And it is one of the least developed regions in the country.
Since the British colony left the Ogaden region and Hawd area and ceded to Ethiopia on 23 September 1948 and 28 February 1955 respectively, the region has been embroiled in a war for independence and sovereignty. Narsullah, WSLF and the recent ONLF are remembered liberation fronts for their struggles in the region over the last half century.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), the last and longest operating front bitterly fought against successive Ethiopian regimes since 1994 has signed a peace agreement with the current government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Asmara, Eritrea on October 21, 2018. This has come after decades of heavy causalities and loss of lives from both sides. The essence of the agreement was to allow the ONLF to peacefully and constitutionally continue its struggle for independence.
It the same year, on 6/8/2018, the Somali regional administration led by then regional president Abdi Mohamud Omar (Abdi Iley) ended. Under his administration, the people of the region were subjected to widespread violence and human right violations for 10 years. Killing, robbery, rape, arrests and humiliations had become part of daily life for ordinary Somalis in the region. In the same month, on August 22, 2018, Mustafe Muhumed Omar was inaugurated as the Deputy President of the region. He was one of the scholars who fled the region during the reign of Abdi Iley and was a prominent critique Abdi Iley’s administration to the point that his younger brother was assassinated by the regime.
What Does The Political Landscape Of The Region Looks Like?
The biggest change in the region is that Mustafe, the victim of the last administration, became the deputy president, and the ONLF, the front that had seen many of its people persecuted, killed, tortured and humiliated for being its members, has reached a peace agreement with Ethiopian government.
Today, it is widely recognized as a relatively peaceful region where freedom of speech has improved and political parties are safely operating. The regional government’s development activities are also smoothly ongoing, and business activities are performing better than yester years. People to people movement and community interactions have also increased although COVID-19 effects and prevention and control activities have put limits on it. Read more...
Source: MOHAMED-TAQWIM BADEL ALI addisstandard.com