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Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Tragedy in Ethiopian Somali Region

Yesterday's massacre of 74 Ethiopians and Chinese nationals in the Somali region of Ethiopia should not be surprising after the invasion of Somalia and the on going human tragedy there.

The boarder region between Ethiopia and Somalia is a nomadic zone and that mixed up with natural resources exploration by outsiders is dangerous when you bring an army to displace the nomads from their grazing lands.

Melese Zenawi on his parliament speech last month and previously declared Ogaden National Liberation Movement(ONLF),the local Somali rebel movement as terrorist to be dealt with and we know the fight in that part of the area has been going on and off for many years under the name of different movements some local Somalis and outsiders.

Before the Somalia invasion by Melese Zenawi ONLF has warned that its territories will not be used for the Somalia aggression and their representative in London had also told the Western media that they have good understanding with the USA forces in the area.

To their credit they did not attack foreign nationals in that area until yesterday's massacre and I wonder if the USA intelligence were aware of the coming of such attack.

ONLF did not want to be labeled as anti-West for its own recognition in the future and by killing Chinese nationals in yesterday's operation has surely angered the Chinese and there will be a future price to pay for it.

The Ethiopian regime care less for the consequences when it embarked on its futile mission to "liberate" Mogadishu from the Islamists and Melese Zenawi and his parliament who were boasting of crushing the gathering threat in Mogadishu rather succeeded in spreading the

The Ogaden problem has been with us for many years and has been the rallying cry also for the Greater Somalia and led to wars between Ethiopia and Somalia supported by the West and East block then.

The 1970s invasion of Ethiopia by Somalia coasted us many lives and properties and the Ogaden Somalis paid a high price for being a battle zone.

This misfortune is now replicating in Mogadishu with thousands lives lost and fleeing of close to half a million people from Mogadishu and many Ethiopians who lived in Harar thirty years ago faced the same situation when the invading army of Barre bombarded and controlled large parts of Harar.

To its credit ONLF formed an alliance with other opposition movements and formed AFD to resolve their legitimate grievances peacefully and Ethiopians will be delighted to see the fruit of such alliance in this difficult time.

Other Ethiopian opposition parties which are not members of AFD should stop acting as news agencies and analysts and be involved in their own to change the political dynamics for the benefit of our people.

Tedla Asfaw