It has now ben confirmed that 42 civilians lost their lives in the hands of the Ethiopia Somali Zone’s Liyuu Police assisted by units of the Federal army at Jama Dubbad village of the Gaashaamo region.The incident followed, sources say, a skirmish between Khat traffickers and the government units at a stretch of road a distance away from the location of the massacre.
The armed units entered the village and started firing at everything that moved indiscriminately and without mercy, the sources said.
“Even women and children who fled to the mosque for refuge from the hail of bullets were not spared,” an eye- witness said.
The Liyuu police has, since their inception, went on rampages that left an accumulatively great number of casualties behind with an undisclosed larger number thrown in in federal and regional prisons without resort to reliable justice.
On June 3, 2015, similarly composed units killed 19 civilians in an area located between Feerfeer and Shillabo of Qarrahey region.
This latest incident is, however, the worst in recent history.
If not quickly, judiciously and officially contained the Jama Dubbad massacre may have far-reaching, adverse consequences as the victims have ethnic and cultural roots with Somalilanders within the boundaries of the Republic of Somaliland. The deplorable incident had deeply hurt many a home in the regions of Togdheer, Sanaag and Hargeisa as news of relatives lost filtered in.
The incident may, also, rekindle traditional animosities between the Ogaden, who outnumber any other ethnic Somali group in the Liyuu Police ranks, and the Isaac the majority – if not all – of the victims belong to.So far, the Federal government of Ethiopia and the Jigjiga administration are pouring into the area more and more security units armed to the teeth to preempt civilian uprising and a possible retaliation on the part of the area residents to avenge the dead and the maimed.