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Saturday, 18 August 2007

Kinijit's leadership and the Ogaden crisis

Tedla Asfaw

Ogaden Somalis are punished while we the Diaspora are now confused on how to welcome the elected leaders in North America at the end of this month and I want to welcome the elected leaders by firing a 21 cannon and followed by these questions.

My question starts with Ogaden and can we keep quite witnessing the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ogaden? What should we the Diaspora do to alleviate the crisis in Ogaden ? What will Kinijit do in their part?

These questions might be answered diplomatically for fear of being labelled as supporter of ONLF which is labelled as terrorist organization by the Ethiopian regime and Kinijit leadership would not fall in to the regime's trap and ignoring it is also not an option.

However, we the Diaspora community have nothing to be afraid and be selective in fighting for human right and respect of rule of law be it in Addis or Jijiga and some of us are already asking the elected leaders to denounce AFD where ONLF is working together with other opposition figures and Commander Assefa Seifu advice posted on Debteraw is one of such calls.

Who came to the aid of our Somali brothers and sisters ? and as far as I know no one except the OLF which is jointly battling TPLF in the Eastern part of Ethiopia and Kinijit and EPPF which recently pulled out from the alliance their contribution to the alliance was zero from day one because of pressure from their extreme supporters labelling ONLF and OLF as anti-Ethiopian and separatists.

The Kinijit elected leadership can not avoid question about AFD and its supporters as well the Ethiopian regime is also waiting for any statement made about AFD and according to Melese Zenawi any supporter of AFD will be locked up as supporter of " terrorist" movements.

Kinijit leadership first might focus to clean its house in the Diaspora and will refrain to say anything which jeopardise their return to Ethiopia and the only one who can freely campaign on the behalf of our Somali brothers and sisters are the Diaspora community.

If we do not care for the suffering of Ogaden Somalis why should the Ogaden Somalis care for our suffering and any action we take to address their plight and suffering at this time while we are preparing to celebrate the coming of our Huleteshe Amete will make a beginning of a promising relationship much different than the past of unequal and sometimes discriminatory.

I wish the elected leaders of Kinijit to have a good working visit in North America and a safe return back home and we know their role to influence the Ogaden crisis is limited however we will continue our struggle to stop the suffering of the Ogaden Somalis and others in Ethiopia and put pressure for the release of all political prisoners and start a hopeful Huleteshe Amete.