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Ethiopia and Eritrea engaged in a bitter and brutal war in the years between 1998-2000 as a result of Eritrea’s aggression and it’s capture of the territories along the border such as Bademe and Salanbasa.

The EPRDF led Ethiopian government cried out loud and called for all the Regions to equally partake the defense of the nation and it’s people from unrelenting aggressor.

In that regard, the Somali people has responded swiftly and adequately by sending thousands of it’s young men and women along massive bounty of cash and livestock collected from those who can afford the least.

Thousands of those Somalis who volenteered on their own-will to defend their homeland paid the ultimate price with their own lives and in defense of this nation from a foreign aggression.

Sadly, up-to this day, you can find some of those young men who lost their limps and other body parties on the streets across the whole Somali Region. They are unceremoniously referred to as ‘Ja Jab’, meaning ‘broken pieces’ in Somali.

However, after the recent promotion of more than 70 members of the military’s senior leadership, it put in to prespective of what those young men and women actually died for. Did they perished on the frontline line for nothing?

A curious one would ask, why is that 70 members of senior military leaders are promoted and not a single one of them is a Somali? Or even more curious one would ask, is there even a Somali in any military or other security sector leadership positions, senior or otherwise?

Don’t even get me started on the other vast Federal bureaucracy!

The rational answer should be, things of this proportion, or should I say disproportion, don’t happen by chance. It’s also abvious that it is not just a series of coincidences either.

The fact that there is very few Somalis in Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) rank-and-file, let alone senior leadership positions, didn’t just happen in a fluke.

Most of this massively disproportionate underrepresentation can be traced back to how thousands of Somalis were purged from the ENDF right after the Ethio-Eritrean War.

In that illegal and immoral expulsion, those who survived Afework’s fire were discharged disgracefully without due process and appropriate compensation.

It has all the hallmarks of calculated, collective career sabotage that resulted in the neglect of thousands who were injured without the proper care they legally deserved while many more thousands who were fit to serve were deprived of the  oppurtunity to be able to take military service as career path.

That was the reward from an un grateful nation that they genourously gave much more than they have got in return. After all they have done interms putting their lives on the line, the appreciation they have got was in the form massive purge from the National Army with out due process and scintilla of morality.

Those Somalis who were cleansed off of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) where those valiant fighters who broke the back of the same enemy that was threat to the territorial integrity of this country like no other.

We also heard the thousands of heroic tales about how bravely Somalis who where on the frontline and their contributions were decisive on many of the defining battles for that brutal war.

It’s clear now as the light of day, at least for those who weren’t able to see that far ahead back then, why those heroic warriors were expelled from the ENDF.

It is obvious now as it was back then, that they were got rid-off so that they won’t be able to climb up the military ranks. Who ever orchestrated has cleverly foreseen that some of them would have ended -up being part of these 70 military officials that are promoted now, the many more before them as well as the many more to come.

So, the question I will leave on the table for entities that thrive on political exclusion just like EPRDF is, are Somalis only citizens during times of war and not when it comes to sharing the spoils of peace.

About Mohamed Olad

Mohamed Olad is the editor-in-chief at He can be reached at You can also follow him on twitter @oladmohamed or mohamed.olad2 on Facebook.

1 Comment

  1. It is very sad. I have read all names the newly promoted millitary personals, no one ethnic somali was included. Although i fully support the tplf for time being for my own reason ( I see we -somali and tigray have same fate) . Ethiopia is for those who are spoiling the peace. Dismantling most be on the table.

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