Will She Be The First Ethio-Somali Region President?
The Somali region of Ethiopia has lately been in the news in the Horn of Africa since guards changed hands in the capital Addis Ababa with Prime Minister's Ahmed Abiy ascending to power in April following the unexpected resignation of HaileMariam Desalegn. The political scenario has been punctuated by dramatic events; the take over of adminstrative capital Jigjiga by Ethiopian National Army, stand off between the army and the controversial paramilitary Liyu Police force, violent clashes that led to at least 15 deaths, rising animosity between ethnic Somalis and non local ethnic Oromo and the unexpected detention,resignation of regional president Abdi Mahmud Omar Iley and ONLF group declaration of a ceasefire. Embattled Abdi Iley was replaced by his Financial Minister Ahmed Abdi Mohamed in an interim capacity upon orders from the Federal government. Speculation as to who will be the next President of Ethio-Somali region has begun to make rounds in Ethiopia. The last nail on the coffin of Abdi Iley's political reign was hit on Monday when the ruling party in the region ESPDP elected Ahmed Shide the Federal Communications Minister as the chairman a position previously held by the former President and is seen as one of the possible replacements for Abdi Iley. This temporary solution will likely be followed by bigger changes in the coming weeks in the Ethio-Somali region. According to sources in Addis Ababa and Jigjiga among the front runners that are likely to replace Abdi Iley is Dr. Moha Farah Jire who if predictions by the sources come to pass she will become the first female and youngest regional president in the history of the region. Interestingly Ethiopian media has in the past one week speculated the possibility of Dr.Moha taking over as the regional president. The highly placed former journalist and known Pan Africanist Dr. Moha is said to be enjoying close ties with both Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy and Jigjiga's political big wigs. An insider in the federal government told Radio Dalsan that Dr.Moha had been proposed and recommended to head the troubled region. The highly educated Dr Moha refers to herself as a "true Ethiopian- Somali" and has had decades of experience as a regional political and security analyst and advisor to the then African Union Chairman Jing Ping. She is also a Humanitarian Special Envoy for Ghana. "Dr. Moha is a very strong and a deduced person to what she has in hand and what ever she is assigned to do, therefore she got awards from the Late prime minister, Mele Zenawi, the African Union which she served as a communication affairs officer , she got international Awards from peace making and democratisation processes in Africa, she served also as a highly trained media investigator whom has worked in Abiye, South Sudan with Ethiopian troops and played a big role in peace making between the two Sudanese's" the source told Radio Dalsan. Dr Moha Farah Jire recently returned to the region and has been on a meet the people tour seeking the locals to take advantage of the current political changes which is taking place under Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Radio Dalsan contacted Dr Moha from Jigjiga but she declined to confirm or deny that she had been reccomended to replace Abdi Iley. " What is of urgency for me right now is to see peace prevails in the Somali region of Ethiopia. I am disappointed by the recent political crises in the region and lose of lives of our brothers and sisters. We must recognise ourselves as citizens of Ethiopians and live peacefully with people from other regions of the country" Dr Moha said in a telephone interview woth Radio Dalsan. "This is Ethiopia and we have to follow our constitutional rights whom no one can change unless referendum takes place so let us keep our country safe and our pride greater" she added. Dr Moha is known for her championing of Ethiopia and African Union interests. The Ethiopian Herald, the Ethiopian News Agency of ENA and the Ethiopian Television and other media based in Ethiopia have recently focused her following unfolding events in the region. "The whole country needs to be paid attention, and pointed out in its not an easy struggle to make speedy changes while the population was under control for so long .Oromos and Somalis are brothers and good neighbors with historical intermarriages but the recent tragedy was not important and now it needs to be seriously addressed and the two leaders of the sisterly clans have to be asked and brought to justice for their irresponsibility political action whom we have lost beloved ones necessarily while" she said. Asked by Ethiopian media about her possible replacement of Abdi Iley as the next president she said. "No comment. I only wish my people and my country to be stable ,and live together with out harming one another" she told local Ethiopia media in an interview last week. Journalist Abdala Mohamed