Ethiopia: Security Forces Crackdown on Ahlusuna Waljama’ in Ogaden Region
By Ahmed Abdi
Somalilandsun – There is a Somali legendary,the Sufis had been a blood-war with another sect from he Capital of Somalia, Muqdisho ,Commanded by a Scholar named,Shiekh Ibrahim.And Sufi Scholar,Sheikh Maqdashe,in Ogaden Region sought a support from Ethiopian highlanders by saying “Naa'” which in Amharic means “come” in a loud voice. Ethiopia and Sufi Sect have had full diplomatic relationship since that time.
But as Bismarck coined the term, ‘In politics, there are no permanent friends or foes, only permanent interests’.
A decades ago, an Ethiopian soldier mistakenly assumed a Sufi member a rebel and started to beat and harass him.The Sufi man asked for a young man to interpret between him and the Ethiopian soldier by saying that he was a member of Sufi followers. The young man said in a response a term that became a common Somali saying,”Afka aad kaga keentay Maqale ku la hadal” which roughly translated, ‘You can speak with him the same language that you make him come here (Ogaden region), from Meleke’.
That shows how Somalis in the Ogaden region have been unhappy with the Ethiopian occupation.
For the last couple of years,Ethiopia Government and the Regional puppet Administration of Occupied-Ogaden have been targeting Ahlu suna Waljama’ (ASWJ),a moderate Sufi Islamist sect that has hundreds of thousands of followers in the vast majority of Somalis in the Ogaden Region.
Ethiopia Army and its ally the notorious Liyu Police militia attacked several Qadiriyah school teachings among them Birqod, Kabri-bayax, Danan, and Araarso.
The sects main Uluma’ figures were accused of supporting an independence seeking rebel group,Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and were jailed in a notorious Prison,locally known as “Jail Ogaden” in the Regional Capital of Jigjiga. The crackdown comes after Ehlu Sunna Waljama’s arch-enemy Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya (AIAI), a radical Islamist group, signed a peace-deal with Addis Ababa in July 30th,2010.
An article posted on Ogadentoday Presss states that there was a religious disagreement between ASWAJ AND AIAI who should dominate the Masjid-ul Acla.And one of them must be out from the political arena.
“We gravely concern for the Sheikhs’ well being”.We put our trust in Allah and when Allah intervenes in the Ethiopian evil and the Bid’ah-refers to any innovations in religious matters-amid Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya (AIAI) will be defeated “, Said Mr. Aidid,an exile Sufi follower.
Several thousands of civilians are serving life in prison in notorious “Jail Ogaden” without charge among them the sheikhs or scholars of Sufi sect and their followers.
Ethiopia Army and the ASWJ had been living next to each other for a long time, and the sect,(ASWAJ) believes that the arrests of its scholars is only a conspiracy from its arch-enemy ,Itahad-Al Islamiya,that want to cause grief for the Qadiriyah followers .
“I would like to express my sympathy to the jailed,demised, and injured Uluma,and I can assure you that this is only a conspiracy from Al-Itahaad,” said Sheikh Aidid.
Al-Itahad leadership in Ogaden region believes that affiliating with the Regional puppet administration is not only a privilege for them but a right to revenge against their arch-enemies ASWAJ and ONLF. But also a chance to attract youths that can devote its strict teachings of Islam in the long-term and when the time is right,they will be able to wage a Jihadi war against the black imperialist of Ethiopia.
“Our peace-deal with Ethiopia was not surrendering as many believes,but a game-changer, only military effort was not the solution, we can dominate the economic sector and teach teenagers the sharia law,then when the time is right;we can defeat the Christian state of Ethiopia”,Said Al-Itahaad leader,who declined to be named.
The embattled Ahlu Suna Waljama’a in Somalia is heavily armed and enjoy military confidence while its impoverished followers in Ogaden region are unarmed and money-striped.And the Sect is now desperately searching support from their followers in Somalia.
But it is not clear what the sect will do since it’s an Ethiopian ally against Al-Shabab in Somalia.
So Will the sect offer support to its Qadiriyah fellows in Ogaden region or not? That’s the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question!