In 1932, Joseph Stalin glorified a 13-year old boy, Pavlik Morozov. The State press had praised the teenage boy as “national hero’, statues of him were erected, and various institutions were named in his honor. Morozov received such honor by fully renouncing his past lives and plotting the death of his own father. Pavlik denounced his father to the Soviet secret police and alleged his father for committing “counter-revolutionary acts.” The boy’s father was consequently executed by firing squads. Such horror act of erasing the basic bond of love in families and replacing it with hatred and devotion to an alien and invasive belief that forces its new adherents to renounce their families, past lives, cultures, and norms is the primary character and objective of every Cult — a relatively small group of people who have sinister beliefs and practices and when they succeed violently change social orders. Such Cult is known as Abyssinianists in the Ethiopian case, and they have engraved bloodshed and genocides to the history of the Ethiopian empire. These self-proclaimed ‘neo-fascists’ show no hesitation in their never ending quest to perpetually subordinate Somalis against their will through their loyal disciple — Mustafa Omer.
Late in the 13th century, Abyssinianist Cult adherents emerged from the dwindles of the ancient African kingdom of Axumite and ensued their belief, Abyssinianism — a monolithic fascist belief which regards them the master races and the entire horn of Africa territories as their exclusive ancestral lands. Inspired by this racist and xenophobic belief, they called themselves Ethiopians and waged inhumane expansion to conquer the peoples of the medieval states of the Horn of Africa. With the help of European imperialists, they built the only African colonial empire based on this genocidal doctrine. They conquered vast territories, including the Somali territories of what’s the present-day Somali region, and still rule them with an iron fist. The list of the conquered African nations includes the Oromo, Siddama Afari, Guarage, Walyta, Hadiya, and so on.
To control and govern the people of the conquered territories, Abyssinianists heavily relied on a strategy of violently imposing their ‘Ethiopianist’ identity to secure their cooperation. Putting the dagger on their neck, they had forced a large number of the conquered peoples to renounce their entire cultural and national heritage and show utter allegiance to the conquering Abyssinian Empire. To prove complete loyalty, one must not only renounce his/her cultural identity, but also tirelessly work towards the subjugation of his/her fellow men and women, including his own family, under Abyssinian yoke. Ras Michael and Ras Gobena, who not only both renounced their cultural and religious identities but also effectively imposed Abyssinianism on their fellow Oromos, can be taken as prime example.
Fortunately, Somalis were resilient enough to fight back such ‘cultural genocide’. Though their lands were occupied, resources exploited, and their people massacred, they have succeeded in preserving their Somaliness— a uniquely rich cultural identity anchored in Islamic faith. Though this was so mainly due to the endless liberation struggles of the Somalis, Abyssinianists allude this to ‘unreliable ballabats,’ a notion which alleges the Somalis who politically accepted the Abysnianism ideology dishonest and untrustworthy to the teachings of the genocidal belief. However, that scepticism of the Somali ballabats about Abysinianism has been gradually diminishing and had reached its lowest level after the fall of the State of Somalia. That observation has been proven by the rise of Abdi Mohamud Omar, a.k.a Abdi Ilay.
Abdi Mohamed Omer has been the Somali Regional President for ten years until he was violently removed and arrested by the federal army in late 2018. While never got conventional education, Abdi had reached the highest office in the region by fully accepting and executing the Abyssinianism. To prove complete loyalty to the teachings of their ideology, he co-authored, overseen, and executed hundreds of massacres and torture fields in which hundreds of thousands of innocent Somali men, women, and children were either killed, tortured, raped and humiliated. Abdi has maintained such a project until he miscalculated the reaction of his masters and assaulted few settlers in the region, which led to his shameful downfall in late 2018. Abyssinianists spare no time to fill the position left open by the fully depreciated but humiliated loyal disciple. In just only a few days after the mortification of Abdi Ilay, on August 22, 2018, Mustafa Omar was crowned to finish the job.
After he was crowned in Addis Ababa, Mustafa Omer has initially appealed to the Somali mass by evoking the Somali core traditions. He roared for “Somalinimo,” a cultural Somali national identity for all Somalis, and vowed a change to the predatory policies of the Abyssinianists state of Ethiopia against the Somalis. “The days of harassing and blackmailing the Somalis are over,” he has been cited. Such rhetoric better suited the mood at the moment, and many imagined hopes inside the tyranny occupations of Abyssinainists, but they eventually failed to mask Mr. Omer’s true character and intentions as well as the real agenda of his despotic Somalophobic masters. That became real for the reason while fulfilling the same mission and working under the same framework of his predecessor, Mustafa’s psyche, and the background directly converges to his predecessor Abdi Ilay. This has zeroed his chance to take a different route or at least cover his sinister agendas for a while.
Early their lifetimes, the two Omars were friends in their adolescence. They both grew up in the same city of Dagahbour, around 150 KM southeast of the regional capital, Jijiga, and raised in the same environment outside of their respective family settings. While Mustafa Omer was lucky enough to be educated up to a university level, the two were baptized to the Abyssinianism teachings at their juvenal ages. Later in their older ages, both Mustafa and Abdi worked in the same professional setting of the regional administration, pursuing Abyssinianist State policies. It was a later date when the two got into a personal conflict in which Abdi got the upper hand and in a mafia-style expelled Mustafa from the region. Mustafa turned this personal conflict into his political agenda and started to oppose his former policy mate. Though Mustafa’s opposing actions against the oppression were making moral sense, the motive was mainly against the person doing the evil but not the evil.
Nevertheless, as Mustafa Omer started to govern, realities unveiled. The roared “Somalinimo” was quickly replaced to glorifying the ‘neftegna.’ The newly opened up political space following the bitter struggle made by the people is shut down. Freedoms of press and expression, which were what Mustafa initially claimed to propagate were suppressed. As this article is being written, seven regional lawmakers are behind the bar for the sake of merely expressing their opinions in a parliament session. Prominent human rights activists and independent journalists, including the former media advisor of the president, Mohamed Olad, are living either in hiding for their safety or in exile. State treasury funds and public assets are used like personal belongings.
To add imprisonment, torture, and genocides to the mixture, Mustafa Omer made countless attempts and provocations to despoil the peace agreement between the Ogaden National Liberation Front and Ethiopia; he planned to push ONLF to an unprepared war and then effectively terminate the people’s struggle for freedom and justice. Thanks to the ONLF leadership, they have foiled such sinister attempts. Hence, as time passes, the difference between the Mustafa Omer and Abdi Ilay administrations speedily shrinks while the tyrant State of Ethiopia maintains its historical status quo ante.
So, will the Somali people let the current trend continue until it passes the past atrocities, or will they foil the ominous schemes? Will the Somalis wait until the new disciple lastly damns us all as a people just like Abdi Iley did, or completely whitewashes the entire Somali cultural, psychological, and spiritual identities.
Editor’s Note: Ahmed Abdidool is a political commentator from the Somali region of Ethiopia and he can be reached at email@example.com. Views expressed here are that of the author and don’t necessarily represent that of jigjigaherald.com.