JIGJIGA (Halbeeg News) – The authorities in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State will soon hold a vigil to remember thousands of people who were killed by Ethiopian forces during the last 27 years in the region.
The successive governments of Ethiopia had killed the Somali origin people who were suspected to have links with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
The movement was a separatist rebel group fighting for the right to self-determination for Somalis in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
In a statement, the newly elected President of the region, Mustafa Omer said the state was planning to hold vigils in memory of the victims of Ethiopian regime brutality.
“We will soon hold a vigil and remember our dead. No nation can move forward without hornoring its heroes,” the President said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
President affirmed that he will lead the public in mourning the victims of the tyrannical state.
Mr. Omer condoled with the relatives of the victims of those killed by Ethiopian forces in the region.
“Our hearts bleed for the thousands of our men and women killed by the tyrannical state in the last 27 years and beyond,” he stated, “Tens of thousands of Somalis died to liberate their people from oppression and humiliation.”
President Omer said the authorities and people of Somali Regional State will remember those killed in the struggle to free the region from the oppression of the former Ethiopian regimes.
“They cannot just remain forgotten victims. They have to be with us in spirit. The unspeakable war crimes committed against our people must be told,” he said.
The joint forces of Ethiopian military had killed many people in the last two decades in the region.
Ethiopian authorities also created the Liyu (“special” in Amharic) police for the Somali region in 2007, when an armed conflict between the insurgent Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the government escalated.
By 2008, the Liyu police had become a prominent counterinsurgency force recruited and led by then-regional security chief Abdi Mohammed Omar.
Mr. Abdi became the president of the Somali Regional State in 2010.
The Liyu police continue to report to him until he was ousted from the office last month.
The Liyu police have frequently been implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and violence against people in the Somali region, as well as in retaliatory attacks against local communities.