20/06/09 (B504) Point de vue. Un lecteur, Ahmed Reyaleh, nous adresse un texte anglais qui dénonce le traitement anti-démocratique des tribus Issas en Ethiopie. (Nous le publions à sa demande et avec ses coordonnées)

Undemocratic threats are hanging over the Issa Tribe in Ethiopia

It was one year ago when the government aggressively intervened with its regular forces and inflicted more damage and killing dozen of people and at same time burning and demolishing the village called Aboule and encircled the second village called Gadamaytu and cut off all movement from outside in weeks and the armed forces carried out an intensives search reaches in all the houses and the shops and founded many different commodities which the government estimated about 40,000.000 birr when they brought the goods to Addis Ababa with some arrested people in connection of importing these illegal items into the country.

The arrested people were taken to the court and convicted them all to jail between 2-3 years. The village of Gadamaytu there was no other harassment inflicted by the forces except the moral and physical intimidation which continued more than two weeks, but unfortunately the people inhabited Aboule village have been treated cruelly inhuman manner and they went to Djibouti as a refuge.

Up to recent development, no body knew the reasons forcing the government in to such unpopular decision against peaceful people, especially the village of Aboule. The people came to understand the intention of the government when the Somali regional president held a meeting between his vice president and the minister of the federal government in Dire-dawa city and decide with them the fate of three villages bordering with Afar regional state and they gave a firm order to the regional vice president who is an issa stock with the federal minister.

The firm order given to the vice president was to go and remove these villages from where they are situated now and remove them in a distance of about 40km in to inside the Issa territory, demolishing all houses including schools and health centers. The vice president said I will not accept this unconstitutional measures which totally obliterating the national rights of the people given by the law of the land. After he has been pressured by the authorities so he has to resigned and vacated the post

On 4th of 03 2009 again the federal minister has called a meeting with the administrator of all districts under Shennelle zone without consulting traditional leader who decides the fate of the said people and pass an instruction to them telling an immediate hand over the rule of these villages mentioned above to Afar regional state who placed a claim for historical ownership of that land situated around these villages so you must hand over since the federal government of Ethiopia support this claim.

According to a centuries old history of Afar/Issa there is no land specific to either people, they were sharing one land one water and one pasture and a milk of one camel or caw so the policy favoring one party and disfavoring the other party is distractive to peaceful coexistence of the population. The young administrators who were 14 individual in number categorically denied the instruction of the minister and told him the responsibility of siding a territory to third party is mandated to the Issa traditional elders so its not our prerogative measure, so we can not execute your baseless instruction. Finally, the minister has requested the administors to call one hundred tribal chief and bring them to in Awash town next week and they said we will if they accept our call.

The previous issue was to engage total destruction of the villages and evict the population which were more harmful than the second thought ordering to handover the territory and its population, eventhought it seems less harmful incase the people accepts peacefully but the actual contextual facts existing between the people regarding cohabitance does not shows favorable sign.

Historically the Afar and Issa’s were sharing one territory side by side with limited border interval, when the question concerns pastoral people but the population living in the urban areas their relations are excellent and more homogenous.

The traditional war raids and contra raids that created unpleasant animosity in the past is now in a diminishing stage, so the necessary approach of curtailing this problems are to understand the crucial matter existing between pastoralist and then proper consultation is necessary with an adequate educating information should be introduced, inculcating into their minds the primitive practice they exercise this modern world. In addition, a chance must be given to the people to discuss the issues among themselves, which could breed productive results of reconciliation when they exchange views on matters of their concern.

Finally we must acknowledge that any undemocratic and manipulative measures introduced without due consultation with a concerned people will end up futile and unimplantable so the problem existing between pastoral Afar and Issa’s deserves serious concerted approaches by the involved groups. The villages in threat are the Gadamaytu, Ondofuo and Adaytu in habited more than 250,000 people with its surrounding area.

The present tentative approaches leads by the Somali regional state and the minister of federal government are unacceptable because its totally partial instead of being impartial and will only result a consequential violence among the people.

In case there are territorial dispute between the populations living an adjacent areas there are provisions in the federal constitution for solving this matter with no time, so the core problem is the federal government failing from behind its constitutional duty. The constitutional order should be respected and properly applied in a democratic way in solving problems raising between all the Ethiopian Nations and Nationalities and the people unless will remain ineffective paper.

Current situations

For the last few weeks a meetings were held in dire-dawa among the issa tribal chiefs and invited delegation from the districts and some educated cadres and discussions were to appoint an Ogass for the issa community which well replace our Ogass Hassan Hirse who dead in 1995.

According the traditional law the Ogass should have been replaced by 2-4 years but the community was in confusion and disarray because lack of leadership and proper guidance to the serious matter of their concern.

Finally the discussion end up with an agreement and sent a delegations to all areas settled by Issa community including Djibouti and Somali land in order to get support the moure-or dissupport and they have all welcomed of constituting an Ogass in order to save the traditional cultural hereditary which is in view of disappearing.

Now they all come together and settled in Warfou area traditional camped and finally discussing the nomination of Ogass using their traditional concepts which is fal iyo fare and according to the customs they should nominate 44 people composing all lineage of issa family and the 44 committee should bring the Ogass. I well in form next steps


_______________________ Other matters

The government has called Mr. Mohamed Dirir and the vice president of the Somali regional state Mr. Hassan Biyoleh and instructed them to demolish or remove about 30kg from where they are situated now following villages:Gadamaytu, Hido fiho and Adaytu each of these villages are settled more than 3000-5000 thousand each permanent settler and the nomad population inhabiting around these villages are about 300-400 hundred thousand and they should move too about 30-40 kg away long the sifalt road connect Djibouti-Ethiopia

The government initiate (2) major reasons

1.The territory is an afar land

2.securing line always disturbed by individuals from the issa/afar

The issa community arguments is that there is no land specific to issa or Afar we share one land historically up to sailah- or Djibouti

So any matter between us we can solve our selves and regarding the protection of the safalt road we are ready to help the government to make peaceful. The decisions of the government is iniquitous, unfair and anti constitutional order. The policy of the government is to build a house and habitable environment not to demolish houses and that is also not inline with the present democratic area.

The vice president has resigned after receiving many instructions from the authority and yet there is no his replacement.

According the existing constitution if there is a territorial claims and contra claims the provisional constitution is to engage referendum and the following that Maiso town is taken by Oromo from Somali by referendum. The issa’s is placing same process should be conducted or applied unless it will be necked partiality to one community. Even though the movement is restricted I am intending to go to Warfou which about 100kg away to dire-dawa or go with afar committee which we are dealing with them on issue of peaceful joint settlement of afar/issa.

I will keep informing any development event you should remain vigilant with action to be taken.

For the extra info: reyale_71@hotmail.com and 00 32 489 353 758 In belgium