26/06/09 (B504-B) Point de vue : un lecteur répond en Anglais à la contribution publiée sous la signature de Reyaleh. Nous publions son texte sans aucun commentaire de l’ARDHD.

Who is threatening whom Mr Reyale?

I hesitated a bit to respond to Ahmed Reyale’s posting on the Afar-Issa conflict as I had difficulty to make head and tail out of it, mainly for two reasons :
1. The multiplicity of the writer’s roles
2. The multitude of the unconnected issues he raises

He is:
• A tourist traveller from neighbouring Djibouti
• An insider telling as the Ethiopian governments future plans
• A reconciler of the two communities
• An advocate for Issa cause
• A vigilante for Issa cause (as in his last article)

He raises among many issues
• The Afars and Issas neighbourliness
• Historical claims of the Afars versus Issas need for water and grass
• Security of the roads
• Ethiopian Governments policies
• Constitutional rights and arrangements
• Referendum
• Need for vigilance

My dear Ahmed Reyale,

Can you please clarify, first and foremost, which hat you are wearing when? As you stated the Afars and Issas are, unquestionably, related groups. For that matter the Afars are related not only to Issa clan, but to all Somali major clans.

For that matter, the Issas and Afars have their mini-state in Djibouti while in this part of Ethiopia where you were on a visit they fire at each other on sight. It is very deplorable state of affairs to which a durable solution should be found by the leaders of the 2 communities, the 2 Regional States in Ethiopia namely; Afar and Somali as well as by the Ethiopian government.

All researchers of this conflict agree that the Afar –Issa conflict in Ethiopia which was a water and grass issue between two pastoral groups has changed its nature after the independence of Somalia Republic in 1960 with its territorial claims and declared policy of unifying the Somali territories in Ethiopia , Kenya and the then French colony of Djibouti.

That is when the Issas become avant-gardes of Greater Somalia in its invasion and penetration in 1960, 1964 and 1977/78 to advance as far as Awash River which the Somali dictator Siad Barre claimed as his natural border with Habasha as he used to call the Ethiopians. The Issas started their onslaught in 1962 from the Asbot Mountain and today they are on the banks Awash River. They pushed the Afars 120 kilo meters.

Later the Issa controlled government in Djibouti furnished them with fire arms to continue their military thrust further. The conflict is a conflict between the states in the region pertaining to national security as well as geopolitics and no more grass and water-holes issues between two pastoral clans.

Before talking about any peaceful settlement of the conflict through any agreement either between the two ethnic groups or the Regional States or the Governments in the Region the Issas militias has to stop their daily armed attacks on the Afars in all the areas the writer tourist visited.

Dear Ahmed Reyale in your last article you said “threats are hanging over Issa tribe in in Ethiopia”. WHO IS THREATENING WHOM?.

The Arabs have saying which goes “He runs and complains first, after he has wronged me; he cries first after he has hit me” Does it make any sense to you?

Mr Ali Hassan Ahmed