By Dr.Birhanemeskel Abebe Segn
The West Should Not Waste any more time to avert the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Oromia
The ethnic cleansing and mass killing of Oromo civilians in Somali Region of Ethiopia and elsewhere in Somalia are worsening. The invasion of Eastern and Southern part of Oromia by the expansionist Somali Janjaweed Militia which is locally known as the Somali Liyu Police remains unabated. The Ethiopian federal government, mainly the leading TPLF, who created, funded and armed the Somali Janjaweed Militia continued to turn blind eyes and deaf ears to the plight of the Oromo civilians and the spilling blood of the innocent.
To date, close to 100,000 Oromo civilians are uprooted and deported from the Somali Region leaving their property and wealth behind in the hands of the Somali bandits. Close to 600,000 Oromo civilians are displaced from five zones and fourteen woredas of Oromia National Regional Government as the result of the invasion by the Somali Janjaweed Militia.
No Ethiopian federal government agencies or federal government supported organizations cared to support the displaced and the uprooted Oromo nationals both within Oromia and from the Somali Region. The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), which is under the total control of TPLF gurus, is the direct accessory of the crime that the Somali Janjaweed Militia is committing on the Oromo people.
The international communities based in Addis Ababa, at the very center of Oromia, are no show. No one expects the African Union to say or do anything. But, the silence of the ICRC, the Western Embassies, the Japanese, the United Nations Organizations like ECA and those dealing with refugees and internally displaced are seriously perplexing, to say the least.
International media organizations like the AP, BBC, Reuters, and host of other television stations reps and freelance reporters remained silent. It seems they all decided to look like as if they are kept in the dark while their true intentions were to distance themselves from the Oromo people to secure favor with the TPLF which now have the power to decide as to who will stay or not stay in Addis. That is pathetic. It shows the inhumanity of the West and their surrogates.
The Oromia regional government has literally zero resources at its disposal. It is extremely overstretched, inexperienced, understaffed and is reaching a breaking point. With hostile, malicious, unwilling and uncooperative federal government agencies, and the inability to reach out to the international community for humanitarian assistance by bypassing the federal government, the Oromia Regional government is totally made immobile with their hands tied and their mouth shut. The personal safety threat on the life of some of Oromia regional government authorities by the TPLF agents and the killing of some regional officials by TPLF/Somali Janjaweed Militia agents made the situation worse.
At this point, all the Oromia Regional government authorities were able to do or allowed to do was to appeal to the Oromia public to help more than half a million displaced and uprooted people. The public is responding both from within the country and the diaspora. Yet, it is barely sufficient to meet the overwhelming demand of close to one million displaced, uprooted and killed Oromo civilians. Remember, since the Oromo people have been marginalized and excluded economically, politically and socially in Ethiopia, the Oromo people are one of the poorest society in Ethiopia to shoulder such large number of displaced and uprooted population on its own.
In addition to an attempt to cope with still unfolding humanitarian crisis, the Oromia regional government also deployed poorly trained and poorly armed members of the Oromia Police to protect Oromia civilians from well-armed and well trained and federal government supported Somali Janjaweed militia. The situation is fast getting out of hand. Few miles down the road, the unfolding crisis is likely to create a further societal breakdown.
The United States and its Western partners have made a lot of wrong judgment calls and policy mistakes on Ethiopia and Horn of African issues. But, nothing is comparable with its current silence on the unfolding tragedy in Oromia, and the West’s acquiescence and direct involvement in allowing TPLF to create, train, arm and fund the Somali Liyu Police in the Ogaden. The creation of this militia is equivalent to helping the Sudanese government, just the way Gaddafi did, to create the Janjaweed Militia in the Darfur to commit the Darfur genocide. Or it is not any different than creating the Kurdistan army in Northern Syria and Northern Iraq.
Although the majority of Ethiopians look ambivalent because of lack of political voice and political space in Ethiopia, the territorial integrity of Ethiopia is more uncertain now than ever been in the history of that country. The unfolding civil war and humanitarian tragedy in Eastern and Southern Oromia Region of Ethiopia as the result of the invasion and aggression of the Somali Liyu Police is only the tip of the iceberg of which the West cannot wash away their hands off the continually following blood of the innocent Oromo people.
After making all these wrong judgment calls and wrong policy decisions, wasting time by the western powers and the international community who are aware of the unfolding tragedy in Eastern and Southern Oromia while knowing what to do in similar situations are highly irresponsible and morally inhuman. The West should not waste any more time to avert the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Oromia!