In an exclusive interview Addis Insight had with a residence of Jijiga town we were able to confirm the arrival of the federal army into the town of Jijiga. According to our source the summary of the past three days events is stated as follows. While writing the story the government has confirmed the intervention of the federal police and military upon the request of the Somali regional government.
Day 1- August 4
Small pockets of protesters were rallying in the streets of Jijiga calling for PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed to step-down and in a dramatic shift of events federal army arrived in Jigijga. The confrontation between Abdi Mohamoud Omar (Abdi Illey) forces (Liyu Police) led to the withdrawal of the federal army from the town. Several conflicting stories coming out of social media led to more confusion especially reports of Abdi Illey arrest and surrender. Even-though the regional president gave a statement later on Saturday on the regional TV assuring his control.
Day 2- August 5
On Sunday a group of people with uniforms and track started to loot properties specifically targeting areas such as Habesha Sefer also known as Mikael 06 Kebelle. The group of mobs also burnt 3 Orthodox Churches out of the only 4 churches in Jijiga town. The only church that was saved from burning was Mikael Church and this was due to a stand off between Liyu Police and the youth that were protecting in the church compound. Abdi Illey’s effort to engage with the communities that were sheltering at the church didn’t succeed after the people protested his arrival and rejected his offer.
According to our source her family house along with her neighbors house was looted and they have been taking shelter in an undisclosed location since Friday for their safety.
Day 3- August 6
On day 3 the looting stopped, and tension started to build up among Liyu Police and the youth that were guarding Mikael Church. At the same time a rally calling for intervention by federal government was held in Addis Ababa. During the protest demonstrators demanded media transparency and coverage from State Media companies Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) and Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
While concluding our interview with our source in Jijiga she said that “we demand the government to act even if it means relocating non-Somali communities like me from Jijiga”. Even though Addis Insight could not verify independently our source told us that she witnessed total of 7 people who were shot just yesterday.