Saturday, 29 March 2014
Ogaden, Western Somalia or Ogadenia? Exploring an Ogaden-Isaaq Alliance for Somalia
Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
January 06, 2010
In a previous article under title 'Can Ogaden Become the Next UN Member State?' (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/can-ogaden-become-the-next-un-member-state.html), I attacked five myths that hinder the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in their rightful struggle toward the liberation of the illegally occupied Ogaden and the inception of the Ogaden Republic.
In the present article, I will discuss an equally critical issue of the struggle of the Ogadeni people, notably the National Name of Ogaden. There have been opposite ideas, different concepts, and other appellations of the vast (280000 km1) region. I want to herewith clarify my position in this regard.
Certainly, the inhabitants of Ogaden are all Somalis, with the exception of few hundreds of administrative and military oppressors sent there from the capital of the Abyssinian empire that has illegally controlled the area following unlawful colonial arrangements that date back in the 1950s.
A Triangle Called Somalia Consequently, the land of Ogaden is an integral part of Somalia, and as such it consists in Somalia´s main inland, being surrounded by the coastal areas that shape the two sides (from Djibouti to the Horn, and from the Horn to Kenya) of the Somali Triangle.
The Greater (and only true) Somalia is in fact a triangular land. The third side, vaguely drawn from Tadjoura (Afar part of Djibouti) straight to Mombassa (Kenyan coastland), demarcates the lands of the Somalis (in the east) and the Afars and the Oromos (in the west). Because of its geographical position, Ogaden represents most the Somali West. It has therefore also been called Western Somalia.
But the term is only geographical, and it goes back to the times of Somalia´s colonization. As political term, it was used only because of the anti-Ogadeni vicious hatred and rancor of the Amhara and Tigray elites that dates back to the early 16th century. Western Somalia: a Politically Ineffective Term As political term, Western Somalia is totally ineffective. A similar, ill-fated, attempt, in guise of example, would be if Pakistan was named ´Western India´ or Kosova was called ´Northeastern Albania´.
Totally out of purpose! In fact, geographical terms in the official name of any country (North Korea, East Germany) denote problems ? always! In the case of Ogaden and Somalia, an appellation ´Western Somalia´ would only highlight the negative historical development when in 1960 Somalia became an independent nation, without incorporating (as it should have) Ogaden, and the Somali parts of Kenya and Djibouti, which are two useless pseudo-countries consisting in mere colonial fabrications.
It is therefore essential for all the Ogadenis and all the Somalis to go ahead, and put a tombstone on the malefic Anglo-French colonialism that opened Pandora´s box throughout Eastern Africa.
An Isaaq Antilogy Of course, there is an antilogy to the aforementioned. People may say that Ogaden is, at the same time, the name of a Somali tribe (and this is true) that spans across Ogaden´s territory yet without being the only population of the said region. This type of argumentation is mainly advanced by other Somalis, almost exclusively the Isaaq whose stronghold is to be found in Northern Somalia, in the area of the parasitic pseudo-state of the so-called Somaliland, another colonial fabrication that represents next to nothing.
It is true that the Ogaden tribe does not represent 100% of Ogaden´s population, although they form the outright majority in all provinces of the tyrannized land. But it is not the first time when a tribe´s or people´s name is given to a land whereby the said tribe or people are not the exclusive inhabitants, sharing daily life and political power with other tribes or nations.
In the same way there are Isaaq in Ogaden, there are (equally few) Ogadenis in Oromia or in Afar land but it never crossed their mind to ask the Oromos or the Afars not to call their lands Oromia and Afar land respectively.
There are more Russians in Ukraine than Isaaqs in Ogaden. Similarly, there are Russians in Ukraine, but they never opposed the official use of the name Ukraine for the said land. And undoubtedly, Russians in Ukraine represent a higher percentage of the total population than Isaaqs in Ogaden.
The opposition to the rightful use of the name Ogaden for the Western part of Somalia does not damage mainly the interests of the Ogadenis and/or their struggle for liberation, freedom, independence and national self-determination. Following a well-structured program of struggle, Ogaden will be an independent country, and with the due diplomatic efforts, Ogaden will become a fully accredited UN member state.
Anti-Ogaden Stance of Isaaqs: a Self-destruction Method Projected among Isaaqs The opposition to the rightful use of the name Ogaden for the Western part of Somalia damages mainly the interests of the Isaaqs. Although they try to pursue a policy driven on tribal interests, they end up with Isaaq self-effacement.
Today, there is no Isaaq-land, and if they continue their policy unchanged, there isn´t going to be any. Somaliland will never be recognized as a state by the UN, and already it is not independent but subservient to the Amhara and Tigray racist gangsters who do not give a damn for the Isaaqs´ interests, but merely use them against the perspective of Somalia´s rightful and inevitable reunification.
This suggests that the Isaaqs, if they continue their self-disastrous policies, will still be subservient to the Abyssinians, will still be unable to rule the so-called Somaliland, and will still be engulfed in an unrecognized, agonizing pseudo-state, when the Ogadenis will have an internationally recognized state of their own. It will be truly too bad for the Isaaqs to find themselves out of the administration of an illegal state that simply does not exist for the UN, when there will be a Chinese embassy at Jigjiga. ?.. What went wrong with the Isaaq policy making? This is simple to answer; they exposed themselves to contacts with the malignant colonial states, England and France, and their offspring the US establishment.
This means that the Isaaqs became the target of systematic disinformation, sophisticated deception, and extensive manipulation, involving false promises, unethical suggestions for national treason, fake assurances, contextualized lies, disguised menaces, peremptory blackmail, adverse mischief, selective bribery, and ultimate misguidance.
Today, in no way can Isaaqs´ conditions of life be considered as definitely better than the Ogadenis´; this alone imposes on the Isaaq elders a total reconsideration of their inter-Somali and foreign policies. In fact, the Isaaqs are not wrong in stating their rights; they are simply misplaced.
The problem will be ostensible, if there is an independent state named Ogaden, and not another state named Isaaq; this may however come to pass, but for this potential development, the mistake should not be attributed to the Ogadenis! This situation will be the end result of a misperception and a mistake originally made by the Isaaqs.
A reconsideration of Isaaq policies, as I suggest, would definitely help avert similar developments and rectify the situation to the benefit of all. A reconsideration of the Isaaq strategy for the Horn of Africa There is a correct place where a Federal Republic of Ogaden and a Federal Republic of Isaaq can coexist; this is the United Republic of Somalia, a united confederation whereby everyone will have his rights respected by the others and all will peacefully work together.
The rise of a free Ogaden will function as catalyst toward this development; it is therefore essential for Isaaqs to put a tombstone on the past troubles and enmities that have been catastrophically (for both Ogaden and Isaaq) over-magnified by the Amhara and Tigray Abyssinian tools of the Anglo-French Freemasonic colonial masters.
The Republic of Ogaden is an inevitable certainty; rejecting their catastrophic policies, terminating their disastrous contacts with the Abyssinians and the Anglo-French, eliminating their anti-Ogadeni strategy, and obliterating the theory of ´Western Somalia´, the Isaaq will markedly show that they took the lessons of Modern Somali History and can fearlessly cooperate with their best possible allies, the Ogadenis, for a free and independent Ogaden, which in turn will herald the rise of Federal Republic of Isaaq within the context of a reunified Somalia.
Only when the Isaaq elders realize that the real hindrance to Isaaq rehabilitation within their natural context, the wider Horn of Africa area, is the fake state of Somaliland, the Isaaqs will be able to reassert Isaaq influence throughout that vast area.
Respect for Tribal Traditions and Rights helps end Tribalism The aforementioned suggestions may look to some Somalis, Isaaq, Ogadenis or other, as tribal of concept; but they are not. Certainly, the tribal composition of the Somali society became a factor of exploitation by the Anglo-French colonials and the Anti-Somali Abyssinian racists.
Undoubtedly, many unfortunate developments occurred in Somalia over the past 20 years because of erroneous tribal considerations of interest. But the best way to exorcize a demon is to admit its existence; you can then send him faraway. Respecting the tribal traditions and identities and duly accommodating them within a confederated status will help all the Somalis to terminate the long fratricide war that represents the worst chapter of Somalia´s 3500-year long History.
An Ogaden ? Isaaq alliance can become the best tool to reunify Somalia, while propelling the two, equally marginalized and undeservedly mistreated, tribes at the epicenter of the Somali politics.
To avert an Ogaden / Isaaq-ruled Confederation of Somalia, the two tribes must methodically deny themselves their best perspectives for the years ahead. Ogadenia: an Unnecessary Overreaction On the other hand, another name has also been used for Ogaden, this time by some Ogadenis: Ogadenia.
The use of this name represents a kind of reprisals to the use of the term ´Western Somalia´ by the Isaaqs. It hypothetically stresses the Ogadeni identity of Ogaden. But is it truly like that? In politics, what matters first is dedication and commitment to one´s principles and fundamental ideals. A reaction against a rival, an opponent or an enemy should never be given dramatically high importance because this ends up with progressive detachment from the original principles which is usually not even sensed. An overreaction on somebody´s part is by definition a victory for the adversary because it triggers automatically an undeniable detachment from the original principles of the overreacting part. In the light of the aforementioned, Ogadenia is an unnecessary overreaction. What is Ogaden´s struggle for liberation and independence? In its supreme level of perception, it is a struggle for identity against alteration, a fight for preservation of a nation´s character, an effort for cultural authenticity, national self-demarcation, and political self-determination.
It consists in an engagement for historical integrity and a commitment for socio-behavioural validity and assertion. In fact, if the Ogadenis "have" to be religiously altered, politically deformed, historically disfigured, culturally distorted, socio-behaviourally alienated, and nationally transformed into let´s say uniform ´Ethiopians´, there is no reason for which the English should continue existing as English and not be assimilated among the Chinese; and similarly for any other nation.
Identity, authenticity, integrity and distinctiveness are not privileges for few nations; they are either rightful for all or permissible to none. But if Ogaden´s struggle is a fight for identity, it is so at the linguistic level as well. In Af Somali, there is no name ending or suffix ?ia. Whenever it occurs, it is a case of foreign word. In fact, the ending ?ia does not add anything to Ogaden and it only alters the name of the region which is the same as that of the Somali tribe.
It is therefore essential for Ogadenis struggling for national independence to stick to their true name and make of the Republic of Ogaden a dream come true. In a forthcoming article, I will examine who can be the potential friends and supporters, and the eventual sponsors and promoters of the Noble Cause of Ogaden.
Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
Orientalist, Historian, Political Scientist, Dr. Megalommatis, 53, is the author of 12 books, dozens of scholarly articles, hundreds of encyclopedia entries, and thousands of articles. He speaks, reads and writes more than 15, modern and ancient, languages. He refuted Greek nationalism, supported Martin Bernal´s Black Athena, and rejected the Greco-Romano-centric version of History. He pleaded for the European History by J. B. Duroselle, and defended the rights of the Turkish, Pomak, Macedonian, Vlachian, Arvanitic, Latin Catholic, and Jewish minorities of Greece.
Born Christian Orthodox, he adhered to Islam when 36, devoted to ideas of Muhyieldin Ibn al Arabi. Greek citizen of Turkish origin, Prof. Megalommatis studied and/or worked in Turkey, Greece, France, England, Belgium, Germany, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Russia, and carried out research trips throughout the Middle East, Northeastern Africa and Central Asia. His career extended from Research & Education, Journalism, Publications, Photography, and Translation to Website Development, Human Rights Advocacy, Marketing, Sales & Brokerage. He traveled in more than 80 countries in 5 continents.
He defends the Human and Civil Rights of Yazidis, Aramaeans, Turkmen, Oromos, Ogadenis, Sidamas, Berbers, Afars, Anuak, Furis (Darfur), Bejas, Balochs, Tibetans, and their Right to National Independence, demands international recognition for Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Transnistria, calls for National Unity in Somalia, and denounces Islamic Terrorism.
Freedom and National Independence for Catalonia, Scotland, Corsica, Euskadi (Bask Land), and (illegally French) Polynesia!