Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Tale of Two Militia: Janjaweed vs Liyu Police

Today, the Liyu Police invaded Miesso district and injured elementary school kids by throwing a hand grenade on them. When Oromia Police responded in defense, the Ethiopian Military appeared to disarm and arrest them. Just like the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese National Force, Liyu Police and the Ethiopian Defense Forces are attacking the innocent Oromo. As we speak, operation is still there and the worst is yet to come.

Since 1956, Sudan has been ravaged by war. In Darfur, the war has led to ethnic cleansing on a massive scale during the peak years of the war, 2003–2005, in which more than 300,000 Darfuri civilians have been killed and and approximately 3 000 000 people were forcibly exiled, an event in which both the government and the local militia conspired the killings.

The Sudanese government provided incentives in the form of payment and access to loot, as well as promises of access to land and administrative power. Sudanese officials also identified key tribal leaders from the northern Riziegat to coordinate the recruitment: Sheikh Musa Hilal, a leader of the Um Jalul clan of the Mahamid, became the lynchpin for recruitment of militias in northern Darfur. Since June 2003, he has become emblematic of the role of the militia forces in the attacks on civilians and the impunity conferred upon them by the Sudanese government.

The worst atrocities are committed by the Um Jalul of Musa Hilal because historically they have tensions with the Fur and Zaghawa. They’re all camel herders, not cattle herders, and they have no respect for farmers, they have a superiority complex and they need their camels. When the war started, the Sudanese government asked Musa Hilal to be the leader of the Janjaweed.

In 2007, an version of Jajaweed militia was established in Ethiopia’s Ogaden Region. It was created and led by Abdi Mohammed Omar (“Abdi Illey”), the current president of Somali Regional State, who was then the regional security chief, with direct order from Meles Zenawi. At first, many thought Liyu Police was created to counter the growing ONLF fighters insurgency mostly after the events of April 2007, in which the rebel groups attached the Chinese Oil company operating in Ogaden.

For the time both Meles and Abdi Illey succeeded in abating ONLF’s further advance, but the mission of Liyu Police didn’t stopped there. After Meles died in 2012, Abdi Illey had been organizing the most aggressive force by recruiting thousands of youth from his loyal clan. Now, there are forty five thousand strong paramilitary forces operating in Ogaden committing heinous crime against innocent civilians. The Liyu police have frequently been implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and violence against people in the Somali region, as well as in retaliatory attacks against local communities, according human right watch report.

Since December 2016, credible reports have emerged of Liyu police incursions into the neighboring Oromia region covering 24 districts and more than 200 localities bordering Somali – Oromia Region. This aggressive force have been conducting extrajudicial killings, looting properties and displacing thousands and tens of thousands of innocent Oromo from their ancestral land.

Reports have been emerging that the Ethiopian defense forces deployed around the border are helping Liyu Police by disarming local Oromo militias and Oromia Police. Evidences found from eyewitnesses and from killed military Identity Card indicated that men from defense forces have engaged in the random attacks and TPLF military Generals are supervising the operations of Liyu Police. With such operations more 1,500 innocent Oromo have lost their lives, thousands forcely displaced and property have been looted.

Today, the Liyu Police invaded Miesso district and injured elementary school kids by throwing a hand grenade on them. When Oromia Police responded in defense, the Ethiopian Military appeared to disarm and arrest them. Just like the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese National Force, Liyu Police and the Ethiopian Defense Forces are attacking the innocent Oromo. As we speak, operation is still there and the worst is yet to come.

 By Lammii Beenyaa

Chaltu Takele: Oromo prisoner of conscience

(Advocacy4Oromia, 3 Sept 2017) Chaltu Takele, a second year sociology student in Addis Ababa University was arrested in May 2008. She was arrested suspected of being member of OLF.

After several months of incarceration at the notorious Federal Police Commission Crime and Forensic Investigation Center or Maekelawi, she was sentenced and transferred to Kaliti. She was convicted to 12 years of imprisonment and spent Eight years and one month in Kaliti.

While she was in Kaliti she graduated in Management by following her education in distance program from private College. Studying in prison is a rare case for most Oromo prisoners. Chaltu struggled to get permission to study. She fought hard to convince Kaliti prison officials and finally won the chance to study.

After Eight years and one months of harassment in Maekelawi and Kaliti, she was released in 2016. But, she remained under constant security surveillance. Her ambitions were to start her peaceful life by getting job in Finfine or elsewhere in Oromiya. She wanted to help her family.

In March 2017, after months of her release from prison, we heard the news that Chaltu was abducted in Finfinne and taken to Maekelawi alongside with two of her friends. She is still in Maelawi.

Chaltu’s history is typical example of Oromo women scarification for freedom.

My flag

   By Dahabe Abdella

In the distance I see her, as she stands and waves,
As I sit and watch her, at the dawn of day.
As the sun arises, from our eastern forest,
I see Old Glory, she is battered and worn.
Her colors are faded, and her edges are frayed,
A symbol of our Nation, in its current stage.
I shed a tear, for my dear old friend,
As I remember what she’s seen, and the places she’s been.

She was there in the beginning, as she led in the fight,
As brave men and women fought, to defend what was right.
Gullallee, Anoolee, and for Calaqoo she flew,
Over blood soaked grounds, as our freedoms grew.
She made the journey, unto foreign lands,
Through Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan.
Against oppression, tyranny, and terror by night,
She stood for freedom, as a beacon of light.

But now she’s here, in our present age,
As I wrapped her on my head, all tattered and frayed.
I can’t understand it, where we are,
From where we’ve been, it seems so far.
She’s been spit upon, trampled, burned and torn,
Dishonored, discarded, at home or abroad.
A House of cards, is where our liberties lie,
While a nation stands silent, as our freedoms slip by.
Where integrity, honesty and values are lost,
Where marriage is forsaken, the unborn pay the cost.

The word of God is silent, under Odaa tree,
Even from our schools, it is silent still.
The Lord of heaven, of earth, and of man,
Says “return to Me, and I’ll heal and liberate your land.”
We must go to Him, on bended knee,
Give all unto Him, and He’ll give unto thee.

As I watched my dear friend, as she starts to fly,
I hear her plea, I hear her cry.
As she sends out a call, across the land,
“To do what’s right, make a stand!”
“Liberty, Justice and Freedom” she sounds,
“Do not compromise, or cross the bounds.”
“We must stand together, though some may fall,
For freedom we’ll lose, if we don’t stand at all.”
“To laugh, to play, to worship and live,
How much is freedom worth, how much will you give?”
“Like those before us, in wars fought and won,
Our fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters.”
“Who fought for freedom, they gave it all,
That our country may stand, and never, fall.”

As the sun descends, beyond the eastern view,
And taps is played, in a lonesome tune.
Old Glory is lowered, in the last bit of light,
For on this day, was her last flight.
She gave all she could, she gave all her might,
She fought to the last, she fought the good fight.
For in the breaking, of tomorrow’s new dawn,
New hope shall arise, as Glory lives on.
She shall arise again, bright shining and new,
As she continues the call, to me, and to you.
From sea to sea, and mountains of green,
Oromia Our land, our home, we must defend and fight.

How much will you give, as God’s own Son or daughter,
To bring us back to Him, so we can live on.
Will you join with us, hand in hand,
In prayer and fasting, to heal and liberate our land?
Though our country’s not free, this much is sure,
But it’s still our country, and it’s worth fighting for.

Oromia Shall be free!!!
#MyFlag #MyIdentity #OromoFlag #Oromia