EXCLUSIVE: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE CHALENQOO MASSACRE
Jigjigaherald.com has obtained the names of the those abducted and the inside story of the circumstances that preceded and eventually led to the widely reported Chelenqo Massacre that was, in some regards, a turning point in the current ongoing turmoil in Ethiopia.
To unpack all of this, let’s start first with the days-long provocation and attacks by a group Qeerroo elements and Oromia gov’t militia between 28-29-2010 E.C on the Halasha, Garmama and Bilee Kebeles of Erer District in Siti Zone of the Somali Region.
In these attacks, they plundered 180 heads of livestock and killed two young Somali camel herders while abducting four more in those localities in Erer district that borders Oromia Region.
On that same incursion, they have killed one military member and proceeded with their bounty of livestock and the abducted four Somali young men.
However, while everybody was waiting and hoping to avoid further bloodshed after the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) that were securing the area ordered those behind these pillaging to stop and return both the abducted man and their livestock, another group of 74 Qeerroo members were again dispatched to terrorize the Somalis in Erer district. But this time the Defense Forces intercepted them before they caused further mayhem in the area.
However, some elements of the Oromo Liyu Hail was not happy about that and ambushed the EDF that were stationed in those areas surrounding Chelenqo and killed 7 members of the EDF.
Unfortunately, things went downward spiral from there and led to to the disastrous clash between the locals and the Defense Forces in Chelenqo and ended up what is now being called the #ChelenqoMassacre.
To give some further context to to the turns and twists of the events that preceded the Chelenqo incident, let’s also focus the statements and positions taken by the Oromia Regional Government Communications Bureau Head, Addisu Arega Kittesa.
First, Addisu and his office claimed the bloodshed was the result of a riot that blocked the main artery route that connects most of the eastern part of the country to Addis Ababa.
However, after a relentless campaign by those so-called activists who were fuming the violence in Ethiopia to some extent, and may be after the current OPDO faction led by Lemma Megersa considered it will be good for their political posture to just emphasize the fact that the Army killed protesters rather than the circumstances that led to those events.
‘Team Lemma’, as often called, just conveniently chose to talk down the circumstances that led to these tragic events, in this case the killings and abductions of innocent Somalis in Erer district and the closings of main commercial routes that are the backbone of the Ethiopian economy.
It’s clear now more than ever, that the clashes that led to the Chelenqo Massacre has it’s roots in the deadly combination of Qerroo, Oromia security elements and politicians that are giving them a cover for their own sinister motives while brandishing themselves as populist renegades.
So, for the Oromia Regional gov’t and it’s leadership, rather than taking a hard-line against those that are causing havoc and destruction, they seem like they are taking the clue from the likes of Jawar Mohamed and giving cover to those who are perpetuating an endless massacres against Somalis and targeting other Ethiopians as well for political gain.