Although weakened by successive droughts, Somali Regional State can defend its oil. The recent fighting between the region’s Liyu Police and the Al-Shabaab group has proven the capability of the Somali Regional State.
The State subdued the Al-Shabaab group and vowed to prevent it from taking roots inside the state. Not only did the Liyu Police fight the invading group, but the region’s ordinary residents fought alongside their armed forces.
Despite the drought the region’s residents have been undergoing for numerous years, they’ve donated whatever they could to prevent the invaders from entering the region. The residents paid both in cash and in kind. And many of them donated blood to save lives.
President Mustafa Omer of the Somali Regional State visited the border between Ethiopia and Somalia and spoke to reporters and ordinary citizens. He stated that the region will protect every inch of its soil, and nobody will be able to subdue the region’s residents.
He also stated that he cannot sit and wait until invaders enter the region and do whatever they want to do. “We can’t wait for them until they come to us, but will create a buffer zone where we’ll fight them before they enter our region,” he said.
Speaking of the identity and relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia, President Mustafa said, “We’ve nothing against Somalia, and we’re Somalis too. If our flesh and bones are to be ground, every bit of them will be found to be pure Somali.”
The Somali Regional State is reeling from prolonged wars and painful conditions. Ethiopia has marginalized the region for so long. But since the president took over the region’s leadership, many things have changed for the better. For instance, the general public’s safety has improved, although permeating poverty is palpable on the ground.
The region’s residents say the State’s economy was better off during the previous regime. “Cash was all over the place and there wasn’t a shortage of money,” said one resident I conversed with. However, how that flow of cash circulated among the residents is a questionable matter.
Corruption was rampant during the preceding regime. Public funds earmarked for public projects were simply pocketed by high-ranking officials and project leaders So, the pilfered money ended up in the residents’ hands.
Contrary to its recent past, the Somali region is bussing with mosques. And they freely give out lectures of all kinds based on the pure teachings of Islam. Neither Imams nor religious teachers are tortured or killed in Jigjiga or elsewhere in the region.
The Somali Regional State is adamant to protect its territory. Despite tough circumstances, different zones of the Somali region are helping each other to collectively fight any invaders,regardless of where they come from.