Understanding the Treacherous Relationship Between the Ethiopian Regime and Al-shabaab

itoobiya-alshabaab1-300x212January 7, 2013 (Ogadennet) — Those who’re familiar with the criminal nature of the Ethiopian regime and how it operates will not be swayed or convinced by the regime’s recent announcement that it has “arrested 15 members of an East African terrorist cell affiliated with Al-Qaida” who have been trained by the Alshabab militants in neighboring Somalia and in Kenya and sent to carry-out terrorist attacks in Ethiopia. The inclusion of Kenyaas a terrorist training base for Al-shabaab is meant to solicit Kenyan support for the Ethiopian regime’s hyped terrorism hoax.

The Ethiopian regime believes it is at war with other forces in the Horn of Africa region who reject its hegemony of the region and wants to convince world powers that it alone is fit to become the regional superpower. This is not something which was started by the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi, who immensely benefited from the collapse of the Somali State and the subsequent opportunity the 9/11 attacks presented him, but it was a process that has been going on for centuries under different pretexts ever-since Abyssinian Kings begun invading other ethnic communities’ lands and expanded their empire from the Northern Highland region to the South, in the process  conquering the territories of the Oromos, Afars, Sidamas, Somalis and others. Emperor Menelik II’s 1878 letter to Queen Victoria of England in which he claims “Ethiopia has been for four centuries a Christian island in a sea of pagans” and beg the assistance of the government of her Majesty and other Christian powers to help him ‘to regain our  sea frontiers,’ offers a historic glimpse of the extent to which different Ethiopian rulers will resorted to in order to occupy other people’s lands and the tactics they employed to achieve their goal.

During the eras of King Johannes IV, Emperor Menelik II and Hallie Selassie, the ruse to attract the support of the prevailing Western powers of the time was to create the hype of a tiny Christian nation facing extinction due Islamic encirclement and expansion (Menelik II’s “If truly you are the protectors of Christians, it is today that you must give us proof,” typifies this era), today it is the imaginary existential threat posed by Islamic extremists to Ethiopia.

The destruction of the Somali State, which had made the Somali race vulnerable to exploitation and abuse with no one to protect them, coupled with the competition for resources in the strategic region the Somalis inhabit (described by some as ‘empty and ungoverned spaces’) by the rising power of China and Western powers, had made Somalis the object of the ‘Empires’ Gaze’ so to speak, and Ethiopia, as usual and as in the past, wants to become the Dilala – dealer of the region. So if Menelik II insisted in his time, during the European Scramble for Africa: “I have no intention at all of being an indifferent spectator, if the distant Powers hold the idea of dividing up Africa…” and that he wants to secure his share – which he got eventually as the only black power that took part in the Scramble for Africa – the current Ethiopian rulers are fighting tooth and nail to secure their piece of the Somali pie which is up for grabs, using Islamic terrorism to solicit the backing of the terrorism-weary Western world.

For the West to believe that the Ethiopian regime is genuinely fighting terrorism as it claims, the regime occasionally manufactures evidence to support its claim. And it comes handy in different forms: Alshabaab related terrorists captured here; an exposed bomb plot there; a plot to blow up the African Union headquarters prevented and foiled; killed tourists blamed to be orchestrated from a neighboring country and attacked, and so on and so forth.

Although some people may consider it as Conspiracy Theory however it is widely known (by those who’re familiar with operations and tactics of the Ethiopian regime) that the Ethiopian regime’s secret services planted operatives inside Alshabaab ranks who help them direct how the terrorist movement operates. In the past, the Ethiopian regime justified its involvement in Alshabaab ranks on the pretext of wanting to know Alshabaab plots against Ethiopia, which may have convinced some in the international community as some of them also run a similar scheme, however it has become evidently clear that the strategy of the Ethiopian regime and the game it is playing is totally different from the one it has sold to Western powers: that Alshabaab poses existential threat to the security and stability of the Ethiopian State and that they’re fighting them inside Somalia in order to prevent the group from crossing into Ethiopia and causing chaos.

It has also been revealed that Alshabaab receive the bulk of their weaponry from Ethiopia and that the Ethiopian regime doesn’t want Alshabab to be defeated, for Alshabaab is both a cash cow for the Ethiopian regime which it milks the International Community, and a nasty force that fights to prevent the re-establishment of strong and unified Somali State.

Ethiopia’s support for Alshabaab came to light when the Kenyan-led AMISON forces, which were backed by the international community, decided to clear Alshabaab from the Juba region and captured Kismayo in September last year.  The first failed step the Ethiopian regime took was the planes loaded with weapons it has sent to Alshabaab held Baidoa. And before anyone else knew about the planes, Somalia’s former TGF president Shiekh  Shariif, who was intricately connected to the Ethiopian regime, immediately claimed that Eritrea sent the weapons to Alshabaab. The subsequent UN investigation cleared Eritrea of any wrongdoing but stopped short of accusing Ethiopia when it became clear that all arrows of suspicion pointed to the Ethiopian direction.

Many times the inhabitants of Somalia’s Bay and Bakool region have witnessed Ethiopian troops crossing into their region and dumping loads of arms and ammunition in prearranged sites, and soon after they leave Alshabaab militants arriving to collect the weapons consignment. Therefore it is no coincidence that Ethiopian troops always publicise which Alshabaab held territory they intend to attack in order to give Alshabaab enough time to vacate the area. That is why there is rarely face-to-face confrontation between Alshabab militants and Ethiopian forces.

Why the latest terrorism hype now?

Ethiopian Muslims have been marking this past week the first anniversary since they begun the peaceful protest against the Ethiopian government’s unlawful interference in their religious affairs. The protests begun when the regime tried to impose – at the behest of Iran – an alien Shia sect on the body that runs Islamic affairs in Ethiopia, the Islamic Affairs Supreme Council of Ethiopia (EIASC). Many religious rights organisation condemned Ethiopia’s crackdown of the peaceful Muslim protesters, among them the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) which issued strongly worded statement:  “The arrests, terrorism charges and takeover of Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC) signify a troubling escalation in the government’s attempts to control Ethiopia’s Muslim community.”

Faced with this dilemma, the regime resorted to the only game it knows best: to smear the peaceful protesters and link them to terrorist groups. In this way the regime hopes to attract Western support for its crackdown of Muslim protesters.

It is not difficult for the Ethiopian regime to sneak into Addis Ababa Alshabaab elements and orchestrate bombing campaigns which might cause huge civilian casualties and then claim that the Alshabab group, which Ethiopian troops  helped to defeat in Somalia, have crossed into Ethiopian territory  to exact their revenge on Ethiopia.The regime has already claimed the peaceful protesters have been infiltrated and inspired by violent extremist groups. It is was only a matter time before they produced ‘evidence’ to proof this accusation.

By demonizing Ethiopian Muslim protesters and linking them to Alshabab militants, the Ethiopian regime wants to kills two birds with one stone: on the one hand, they want to re-energize the waning Western support for their sinister adventures in Somalia; and on the other hand, they want to prevent (by crushing them down with Western approval) the Muslim protesters from coalescing into a popular national, all ethnic and all religious, civic protest movement that can threaten the regime.

But the International Community knows too well to be duped by the treacherous designs of Ethiopia’s ruling Woyane ethnic clique.

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