Jidwaaq community is entitled to demand its rights and denounce what is happening in Jigjiga, capital City of Somalia region of Ethiopia. What is happening in Jigjiga is a systemic displacement, land grabs, arbitrary arrest and other atrocities of different forms, mostly aimed at the Jidwaaq community.
In mid 2013, about 30 elders and intellectuals from the Jidwaaq community travelled from Jiigjiga and left for Addis-Abababa to complain to Ethiopia’s Federal Government concerning what was inflicting their community and taking place in Jigjiga, their native town.
The elders stayed in Addis-Ababa for six months, getting support from Jidwaaq diaspora community, and going from office to office in an effort to make their case and shine a light on their community’s condition and what was troubling it.
The federal government graciously received the elders and promised their safety while in Addis-Ababa. In that period, the elders exposed the plight of their community to the country’s highest officials. Indeed, the respected elders strgguled for their community and achieved a lot.
But the elders’ grievances are far from settled. The elders returned to Jigjiga after they were lured by Jigjiga’s administration. In fact, the administration made a blatant promise for the elders, whose content was to heed all the elders’ concerns and implement them. However, the promise is yet to materialize, as nothing has been done about the elders’ grievances.
The elders are more concerned with issues like Jigjig’s confiscated administration, land grabs and confiscated properties given to favoured diaspora members under the pretext of investments, and Jidwaaq prisoners languishing in jails without a due process.
And the region’s administration is seemingly postponing everything for political reasons and profound plots. Nevertheless, and as reported, a meeting aimed at resolving the disputed matters is expected to take place between the elders and the administration in Qabribayah district, as the administration posted on its news portals. The administration indicated in a press release that a comprehensive meeting between them and the Jidwaaq Elders will be held in Qabri-bayah district. However, three months have passed since the press release was issued, and nothing is in sight thus far and nobody knows whether the said meeting will ever take place.
It is to be stated here that the Jidwaaq diaspora community wholeheartedly stands with its elders and calls on the region’s administration to heed the elders’ legitimate concerns so as to make the Somali region of Ethiopia a place where all Somali-Ethiopian communities can live in honour and stability.