Author: Ahmed Deeq Hussein, Gode City, Somali region, Ethiopia
General Overview: - This article is intended to depict the importance of Liyu police for the people of Somali region of Ethiopia and the country as well. I felt that it is vital to clarify about Liyu police to people misinformed and misunderstood facts of this force. And determined to describe how Liyu police came into minds of our leaderships from inception stage of establishment, rationales behind, and their incremental achievements in terms of security and roles in developmental projects of Somali region. Further, this article also summarizes recent victories of Liyu police attained during fighting with al-shabab terrorist over last two months inside Somalia.
Introduction: - since 1994 G.c. Somali region of Ethiopia was under widespread insecurity and political chaos while other regions of the country moved forward and recovered political and socio-economical impacts of Derge regime, because; from this period armed rebels known as ONLF (called UBBO in local context) announced a war against ethnic federalism based government of Ethiopia. Hence, political opportunities for people of region were miscalculated and misled into wrong side by the ONLF.
Disregarding, the people severely affected by Somalia civil war in 1990s, conflicts and severe draughts that caused malnutrition and death for people and livestock was also in place. However, ONLF and Al-etahad islami were most prominent anti-government armed rebels caused a mass grave and fresh hostile environment. This made it impossible to attain basic social services, carry out development programs and put Somali region into lagging behind from other region of the country, due to threats related insecurity.
Although, many innocent civilians had suffered through torture, rape, and killing made by ONLF (UBBO) insurgents that against humanity for last fifteen years. Ethiopian national defense forces were dealing to secure and stabilize region’s security concerns from ONLF but there were shortcomings observed by Ethiopian military, because; there were no specific targets to be targeted, anti-government groups had been strongly interacted with community which became difficulties to differentiate armed rebels from civilian society. And ONLF backers were strongly dissolved with pastoralist community and government system since the first regional state was ruled by ONLF.
In this regard, to minimize risk of civilian between fire of two confronting parts Ethiopian defense forces and ONLF insurgents, so that regional state and national government realized a need to establish well trained and armed local forces from local people can easily differentiate civilians from other armed insurgents, break chain of intelligence and to reverse ONLF deep rooted interactions with community, with this rationales first batch of Liyu police was screened, registered and recruited from kebele and woreda based modalities, trained, armed with modern arms and commenced soon their security intervention operations against ONLF and others armed anti-government groups including al-etihad.
Detailed background information: - Liyu police forces are indigenous special regional police forces of Somali Region of Ethiopia, established in 2008 G.c. with police proclamation in accordance with national constitution of Ethiopia. First and foremost is to protect people of region from any security related threats caused by either internal or external, and to stabilize prolonged conflict that led Somali region insecure and lagging behind from other regions of Ethiopia country for decades.
Liyu police was born from tears, tortures, rapes and killing of civil society by the ONLF and they are from people and for people of Somali region and in order to protect from any threats against safety and security of Somali region and its people and the like Ethiopia country at large. Liyu polices have been mandated for protecting the people of region, secure and stabilize aged threats related insecurity of Somali region of Ethiopia.
They are not a like tribal militia from any specific sub-clan in Somali Region rather; they are holistic governmental arms that were screened, registered and recruited from kebele and woreda based, and trained with standard Ethiopian military training package and armed with modern arms. Beside regional state forces they are part and parcel of Ethiopian arms.
On other hands, they have similar ranks with military such as Generals, Colonels, Captains e.tc. Like military hierarchs and ranks, and have separate chain of command, rule & order and management system, internal rule/code of conduct in line with regional and national constitutions of Ethiopia. There is logistics, budget and financial resources and management system.
Liyu polices have a good experience in gorilla fighting strategies, dare to fight and attack enemies interfered with safeties and securities of the region’s people per constitution and rule of law. Meantime they have an advanced inter-regional intelligence system and technical capabilities to identify explosive elements and similar items which are used by international terrorist including al-shabab. And respect rights of war prisons in accordance to international laws and human right conventions.
Trends of results/outcomes obtained Liyu police since established:-
It’s well known after when Liyu police was established many security problems were alleviated and basic developmental infrastructures and urbanization improved as a result of Liyu police struggle to anti-security & anti-government groups that had negative impacts to region through various perspectives. However, regional state could able to ensure developmental projects throughout region, with the keen supports of Liyu Police and said to be developmental arms.
In 1993, the first regional state was completely ONLF based system which had extremely influenced with government system over the last decade, even after when ruling part declared war against to new Ethiopia governments. ONLF cells and supporters were manipulating and spoiling the system before several years. Therefore, I can say the actual struggle against ONLF was started around 2007 G.c. at a 3rd term of new ethnic based federalism democratic government of Ethiopia led by EPRDF since Derge regime fall down, when the current regional state president HE. Mr. Abdi Mohamoud Omar became a chief of security and justice, and then ONLF backers were cleared out from governmental system.
Moreover, deep rooted security issues of Somali region was stabilized and secured by Liyu police, ONLF was also defeated, destroyed their military power, disintegrated from civil society, disclosed their hidden supporters, and obliterated financial sources through changing positive mentality, beliefs and attitudes Diasporas towards ONLF completely into negative one.
Furthermore, free movements have resumed and modern public transportations have been started across major cities and zone with affordable time and cost. It is imperative to note that regional state could able to implement developmental programs after when region’s security was secured by the Liyu police which is evidenced today in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
In addition, in recent few years international terrorist affiliated al-Qaeda known as al-shabab was emerged as a new threat for safety, security, stability & developments of Ethiopia particularly, Somali region. And al-shabab was used to horrify Ethiopia particularly Somali region and profoundly disturbed the safety, security and stability of Kenya like Westgate incident, Garrisa university attack.
So that, al-shabab was attacked to our country through media many times but what was known al-shabab terrorist planned and tried to carry out explosive operations inside Somali region of Ethiopia, but in advance Liyu police attacked many target bases of al-shabab inside Somalia, destroyed and severely damaged their power and framework system.
In the very recent, around 183 Al-shabab fighters were killed including 4 foreigners, 37 captured and 13 vehicles captured and 3 vehicles with explosive materials destroyed by Liyu police of Somali region "said" General Abdirahman Abdulahi Buraale the chief commander of Liyu police. Further he mentioned that Liyu police entered 450 km inside Somalia and carried out operation two and half region such as Hiraan, Bakol and part of Bay region, around 26 al-shabab base including Buqoqoble epicenter of al-shabab used to base Ahmed Godane were under controlled by the Liyu police.
However, Liyu police is recognized and acknowledged as reliable local force in horn of Africa by the local, national and international community including most powerful countries, Africa region, Ethiopia government and regional state and people as well. This is the main reason that Ethiopian national defense forces rewarded with appreciation latter, acknowledged and praised for Somali region Liyu police victories during battle against al-shabab terrorist inside Somalia
Conclusion: - On behalf of Somali region special police forces General Abdurrahman Abdulahi Buraale, chief commander of Liyu police received militarily awards and appreciation letters from Ethiopian national defense force (ENDF) during Ethiopian arms days, celebrated in jigjiga. It was historic victory that proportionally increased the dignities and reputations for people of Somali region, special police force (Liyu police) and Somali regional state as well.
Liyu police was awarded by ENDF for their great determination, commitment, hardworking, military performances and achievements in battle field against armed anti-government insurgents like ONLF (UBBO), particularly, recent victories brought by the Liyu police for last two months military operations during fighting against al-shabab terrorist, inside Somalia.
On July and august 2015, Somali region Liyu police carried out operations against al-shabab inside Somalia and extremely damaged military power of al-shabab and killed around 183 al-shabab fighters, other 38 were captured and whereas around 13 various vehicles handed over. Finally, today ceremony for Liyu police was held in Gode city, the Chief Commander of Ethiopian defense force southeast division Lieutenant General Abrahan Worde-mariam "said" Liyu police deserves to be praised, acknowledged and appreciated because of their victories attained against al-shabab inside Somalia with defense force forces supporting to each other and we are proud to Somali region Liyu Police and they will exist for ever "said" LG. Abraham Wolde-mariam. And gave appreciation latter and awarded Medal of Honor to Somali region Liyu police on behalf of Ethiopian national defense force southeast division.
In addition, LG. Abraham Wolde-mariam told that Ethiopian national defense force southeast division will build one school 1-8 in order to contribute the development of Somali region and he handed over latter of commitment to education bureau head & vice president HE Mawlid Hayir.
Last but not least, His excellent Mr. president Abdi Mohamoud Omar summarized overall Liyu police objectives and ultimate goal that was established, how they learn from ENDF doctrine strategies, alleviated the people of the region from security burden rendered by ONLF & al-etihad and he also underlined key achievements and victories by the Liyu police came with keen support of Ethiopian national defense force and we value ENDF their supports for people of Somali region day and night.
It give me great pleasure to write this article from what I have seen and observed from emotional point of feelings for all people participated ceremony which cannot be expressed in to words, since what happen in Gode was an extra ordinary and beyond my personal expectations.
"Liyu polices are heroes of eastern and can be a solution in the horn of Africa"