714 The West Mall, Apt. 612
Etobicoke, Ontario. Canada
June 20, 2009
The Federal Government of Ethiopia
I begin with due respect and appreciation for the efforts of the Federal Government in the organizing of the Raaso Conference. Unfortunately, this conference failed and given the present state of affairs between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Shekhask people of the Somali National Regional State, this letter seeks to present an avenue through which an amicable relationship can be established so that mutual benefits can take root and flourish.
According to the constitution, everyone is equal under the law. Yet, for the past seven years the Shekhash people were being attacked by members of the Provincial Government while the Federal Government did nothing to intervene. Given the fact that even today, Shekhash people are rounded up and placed in jail for no reason and these innocent people are made to suffer just for being whom they are, there exists a high level of mistrust among the Shekhash for the members of Provincial government. In view of this mistrust and the recent failure of the Raaso Conference, there is little good that can come from any role by the Provincial Government in seeking peace.
Now, to achieve peace in this area, the Ethiopian government must first get rid of the middleman, i.e. the Provincial Government, and deal directly with the elders and representatives of the Shekhash people. Once we have done so, there will be many opportunities for progress. For example, the Ethiopian Government can use the Shekhash people as assets to the nation. It is well known that the Shekhash are a proud, peaceful, hardworking, and productive people. This can be seen from the development we have achieved within a relatively short time. Starting from bare land, we have built a strong and vibrant community with large buildings and all the infrastructure. It would benefit the Ethiopian Government to work together with us in harmony to achieve lasting peace and progress.
Our first step must be a collaborative effort to root out the harmful factions among us, particularly those in the Provincial Government who are only pursuing their own agenda and do not want peace. We must get rid of the unlawful gangs who are causing unjust suffering among the people, creating mistrust for the government and impeding our progress towards establishing a bonding relationship upon which we can all prosper.
The Ethiopian Government must realize that the Shekhask people are Ethiopians and not just a tribe. In so doing, the Ethiopian Government must take action to stop the killings and persecution of the Shekhash people because any such atrocity is seen as genocide or ethnic cleansing by the global community. Taking the first step as mentioned above will help to eliminate the atrocities that are inflicted to the Shekhash people.
Like all people, the Shekhash tribe deserves the basics of safety and security from their government. In the interest of fairness and justice, I appeal to you to do your utmost to put a stop to indiscriminate and rampant ill-treatment of our people. Only then can we can all work in harmony to achieve the many great things we are capable of achieving together.
Views expressed in the opinion articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the editorial