Pontus Marine

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Agony of the Massacre in Gashamo, Ethiopia

The Agony of the Massacre in Gashamo
Author: Mohamed A. Abdullahi , June, 2016, Hargeisa, Somaliland


1. Introduction
This is the unprecedented sad saga of the residents of Jama-Dubad village. Jama-Dubad is a typical Somali rural village in Gashamo district, Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. This tiny village is about 42 km to the east of Gashamo and it is one of the 125 villages that come under the Gashamo district administration. In essence, we had the opportunity to gather evidence about a shameful and senseless killing of 21 unarmed civilians in Jama-Dubad with the intention to expose and document the incident for the whole world to witness. The cowardly mass killing of the defenseless villagers at Jama-Dubad was committed by the so-called Special Police Force (Liyu Booliis) of the Somali region.

The Special Police (Liyu Booliis) is a highly mechanized paramilitary force that has been terrorizing the ethnic Somali population in Ethiopia in the recent years. Throughout the long reign of the incumbent president, Mr. Abdi Omer (Iley), the Liyu Boolis perpetrated horror on the Somali civilian population at will. It is common knowledge that units of the Liyu Boolis repeatedly commit serious crimes against humanity. They regularly carryout large-group slaughters and executions without trials, long detentions supplemented with physical and psychological tortures, indiscriminate rape of women in large numbers, raising villages and obliteration of entire communities. It is in the record that they tie group of people together and burn them alive. In short, the Liyu Boolis has no regard for human life let alone privately property.
In effect, human dignity and individual rights enshrine by the Ethiopian Constitution are things of the past in the Somali Regional State. More alarmingly, the Liyu Boolis routinely conduct these abuses and inhuman enslavement under the watchful eyes of the Ethiopian Federal Government and the International Community as well.
2. The Slaughter at Jama-Dubad
The last terrifying episode at Jama-Dubad started with a traffic accident on 5/6/2016. An ambulance owned by the Gashamo District Health Center crashed into a civilian vehicle just outside Jama-Dubad, immobilizing both vehicles. Understandably, the ambulance driver used his cell phone to call the district administrative center for rescue. In response and for some unknown reason, a column of army trucks showed up. Surprisingly, 3 members of the Federal Finance Police, Units of the Regional Special Police (liyu Boolis) and Federal Military personnel got off the trucks. After assessing the situation, the commanders decided to collaborate and tow the damaged vehicles to Gashamo but to no avail.
By sheer coincidence, however, a Khat transporting Land Cruiser with Somaliland plate numbers arrived at the scene. The Finance Police reacted with an order to confiscate the Land Cruiser. But the Federal Military Commander protested on the basis that tax collection was not in their original mission. Elders of the village intervened and the Military Commander agreed to move on and keep the vehicle in his possession until its tax issue is resolved in Gashamo.
Few minutes after the vehicles headed for Gashamo, the Khat traders feebly attempted to ambush the column in order to retrieve their vehicle. They opened fire on the solders and the soldiers immediately returned an overpowering fire.  Then, the assailants ran away and melted into the bushes.
Instead of pursuing the attackers, the commander of the Liyu Boolis ordered his troops to get off the trucks and besiege the nearby village - Jame-Dubad. Following the orders, the regiment placed a ring around the village and then stormed. They rounded up the people of the village and killed 21 of them in coldblooded carnage. The powerless victims of this dreadful act of annihilation included 7 women and 2 children. Amazingly, the Liyu Boolis slaughtered 8 people inside the village mosque without any fear of God and they exterminated whole families. When the deadly assault and long agony finally ended, only 15 elderly men survived the onslaught. The survivors were transported on military trucks to unknown destination.
The names of the victims butchered by the Liyu Boolis in Jama-Dubad are listed below and grotesque pictures of their dead bodies are shown at the bottom.
List of the Male Victims                          
1. Abdi Adan Dhooh
2. Irobe Hashi Fura
3. Dhabuke abdi gure
4. Abdiraheem Ibrahim Yussuf
5. Qorane Ismail Arafe
6. Mohamed Yussuf Hussein
7. Hamse Abdi Ahmed
8. Abdi Ismail Aare
9. Abdi Ismail Deria
10. Mohamed Salah Fidhin
11. Sayid Abdillahi Ateeye
12. Arab Hassan Biqirje
13. Mohamed Ahmed Jama (afdabayl)
14. Mohamed Hareer Farah Fidhin
List of the Female Victims
15. Farah Irobe Fura
16. Khadra Hersi Hussein Warsame
17. Hibo Harun Yussuf
18. Farah Abdi Adan
19. Asha Jama Fidhin
20. Indhadeq … …
21. Asha Mohamed Jama
3. Conclusion
In retrospect, the Ethiopian National Army maintained presence in the Gashamo District since 1991. But hostilities and armed confrontations between the Federal Army and the civilian population have never surfaced.
By contrast, the Liyu Boolis clashed with a handful of armed pastoralists in the west of Gashamo District in March, 2012, whereby some civilians and scores of the Liyu Boolis died in the fight. After the incident, however, the Liyu Boolis went on rampage and killed 24 men in total in the villages around the area. That conflict was calmed down through discussions between the Gashamo traditional leaders and the Regional President. But when the question to why kill innocent and unarmed civilians was raised, their answer was, “because they belong to the same clan!” Apparently, in the logic of the Liyu Boolis commanders, it is normal to incriminate and kill people for the sole reason of their clan affiliation.
The Liyu Boolis have been waging this kind of immoral and dirty war on the Ogaden people for many years and they are now trying to extend the policy to the rest of the Somali regional population. This time, they are playing with fire and they will not get away with the atrocities and the wounds they have inflicted on Jama-Dubad. They can run but they cannot hide behind the firepower of the Ethiopian National Army. Undoubtedly, The Liyu Boolis will be accountable for the massacre in Gashamo and vengeful retribution will be at hand.