The Issa-Somali Diaspora and the Old Dream of Greater Somalia Bordering Awash River
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF)
Press Release: Source – ECADF
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) has been following with alert and concern the unrest and convulsion on the banks of the Awash River and Addis -Djibouti road and the ensuing war of words among the Issa-Somali communities in Diaspora and Afar Diaspora about the ownership of the three territories, namely; Adaytu, Undda-Foo and Gadamaytu in the Afar Region and with it the attendant plight of the Afar people and their struggle for survival in that vital area of our country. For those of you who are not familiar with the background history and chain of this conflict that has developed from traditional inter-tribal dispute between Afars and Issa-Somalis over water resources, grazing rights and cattle raiding campaigns and counter campaigns into a regional conflict between states in the region for control of strategic roads, sea outlets and establish borders along the much-coveted the Awash River and not “the Ethiopian government wants to transfer the land of the Somali Issa people to the Afars” as the Issa Community in Australia wants us to believe. It is more complicated than that and there is more at stake not only for the Afar people, but also for the well-being of 92 million Ethiopians as well.
• An important land mark in this development was, of course, the independence of Republic of Somalia in 1960, after unification of British Somalia with Italian Somalia at the same year and idea of unifying the five flanks of Somalia known as Greater Somalia (scheme of unifying these territories as a single Somali nation-state) that led two wars I 1964 and 1977-78 between Ethiopia and Republic of Somalia.
• Later Djibouti after its independence in 1977 adopted the same agenda, under the Gouled & Guelleh Mamassan clan the Issa-Somali, by arming and supporting the Issa-Somali tribes in Ethiopia against the Afar people to realize the old dream of Greater Somalia bordering the Awash River.
• The Issa-Somali bandits’ expansionists took not only Afar areas but also vast parts from some districts of the Oromia Regional State, such as such as Ma’eso, Bordode and Babile in the East and Borana and Guji in South of Oromia.
• The sowing of discord of the ruling clique among nationalities to perpetuate its hegemony by playing one group against the other the Political Organizations and Para-military militias of respective (Liyuu Hayloch) ‘Hayli’ of regions, such as Issa and Gurgura Liberation Front (IGLF).
• The latest decision of the Ethiopian federal authorities either for the Issa-Somali communities to integrate in the Afar Region or go back to where they immigrated from into the Region Five (Somali Killil).
Those were the developments that complicated and incomprehensible.
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) calls on the Ethiopian people in general and the Ethiopian political parties both in the Diaspora and at home should be aware of this complication and should not be hood winked as the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) was taken for a ride when it issued a statement was the government is to evacuate the three areas or but cannot incorporate these territories into the Region Five (Somali Killil)
ARDUF calls upon the Ethiopian federal government to put into action the decision to had the over to Afar Killil (Region), demands that Ethiopian government must demarcate the boundary between the Afar and the Somali Region 1947 demarcation line based 120 kilometres from today’s border the Erer River, and demands the government of Ethiopia respect the geographical integrity, cultural and historical rights of the Afar region, by dismantling all illegally constructed settlements by the Somali invaders immediately and unconditionally and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities.