February 3, 2017
Either a regional or Federal government is seemingly on the move to settle Oromo speaking Ethiopians displaced from Ethio-Somali region, due to what many described as ethnic violence between Oromo and Somali Ethiopians, in Addis Ababa.
However, it is Addis Ababa city administration that is playing an agency role to implement the plan. A report published today by Wazema radio indicates that the office of Driba Kuma, Mayor office of Addis Ababa City Administration, wrote letters to all local administrations in Addis Ababa city to prepare tracts of land within a shortest possible time. Akaki, Kaliti,Kolfe,Keranyo and Bole districts of Addis Ababa are among priority areas needed for the purpose of settling displaced Oromos from Somali region.
However, it is unclear as to how many people will be settled in Addis Ababa.
Those to be settled in Addis Ababa are to produce, according to Wazema, proof of residency in Addis Ababa prior to moving to the Somali region of Ethiopia.
Wazema cited in its report that there has been a clash between residents of Addis Ababa in some of the areas selected for local resettlement and police which caused civilian deaths.
The report also made a reference to a survey made in the aftermath of the conflict between Oromo and Ethio-Somali to report that more than 97 percent of people displaced from the Somali region of Ethiopia are not willing to go back to the region again on grounds of alleged security concerns.
There has been an allegation that the dominant party in the ruling coalition, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), orchestrated the conflict in the Ethio-Somali region. Some go to the extent of claiming that president of the region, Abdi Mohamoud, was encouraged by influential TPLF leaders to embark on a manufactured ethnic violence in the region and the purpose, according to proponents of this view, is to weaken Oromo regional state which turned out to be disobedient and confrontational to TPLF leaders.
The Federal government has a different narrative on the Somali Ethiopian conflict; it sees it as a conflict precipitated by contraband trade in the region which is said to have a network that involves government authorities. When the customs authorities appeared this week in the Ethiopian parliament, the parliamentarians demanded to know the identities of government officials involved in the contraband trade but custom’s authorities withheld the identities mentioning only that the contraband trade is causing political crisis apart from harming the economy of the country.
It is to be recalled that Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) members of parliament foiled a move to discuss the issue of Addis Aababa as it relates to “Oromia special interest” on grounds that the regional government is dealing with other pressing issues in connection with displaced Oromos from the Somali region of Ethiopia. From the perspective of the opposition, there was a perception that “special interest on Addis Ababa” issue was brought up so as to weaken OPDO and ANDM alliance.
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