By Ahmed Kheyre
The deplorable actions by elements of the Ethiopian Federal Army and the Liyuu Police at Gashaamo are to be condemned. The perpetrators of this massacre will be brought to justice and will face the full measure of the law. The victims of this massacre are in the hands of Allahu Subxaana Wa Tacaal, and our prayers accompany them.
But, the people of Somaliland must understand, that as long as Somaliland continues on its path to progress, security and developments, its enemies will leave no stone unturned in order to derail the country. Make no mistake, the Horn of Africa is a dangerous place, and we have seen such massacres before, almost daily, mass graves are being discovered in Somaliland. These graves are witness to the brutal dictatorship of the Barre regime and the ill-fated union with Somalia. So, let us not delude ourselves that despicable actions, such as the ones at Gashaamo and the recent incursion in Ballidhiig will not occur again. They will and we will have to be ready to respond to them.
There are elements in the Horn of Africa that would like to destroy the relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia. These elements are governmental, economical and religious. The treacherous actions at Gashaamo are not just the work of renegade individuals in the Ethiopian forces, but, they are part of concerted effort to drive a wedge between Somaliland and Ethiopia. These nefarious plans will not succeed, because the ties between Somaliland and Ethiopia are made of stronger stuff.
Finally, the response to the massacre at Gashaamo by the administration of President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Silaanyo” must come under closer scrutiny. Granted that Gashaamo is part of the Somali Administrative region of Ethiopia and as such doesn’t come under its jurisdiction. However, one would have expected a more swift and vociferous response from the government. Sadly, this current administration does not possess the access to the higher echelons of the Ethiopian hierarchy of previous governments. This is a pity, because, the stability and security of both nations are at stake.
Rest assured, Somalilanders will not stand by and watch their kith and kin massacred in such way and do nothing. In order to maintain and strengthen the relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia, more work must be done in fostering closer ties between the residents of the border regions, and a closer co-operation between the security and armed services.
Allaa Mahad Leh