Dear Hiiran News,
We, the Issa Diaspora of Sitti horrified and shocked by your article claiming that gunmen from Somalia and Djibouti attacked afar people inside the afar region.
The information stated in the article is baseless and an insult to those two sovereign countries.
Let us remind you what is happening in the Western Sitti region: Afar liyu police and Afar rebels invaded part of Sitti zone and for the past 11 months they have killed many innocent pastoral people who live in that area. We believe that this violence is motivated by the race of the occupants of Sitti (Somali).
The former Ethiopian federal government unlawfully transferred three cities from the Sitti zone to the Afar region without following the Ethiopian constitution. The cities have forcibly been given to the Afar, an action that has led to the Afar state trespassing those boarders and beginning to invade and occupy a large part of the Sitti zone (Somali state). They have penetrated about 150km inside Somali state and they have been occupying this area for the last 11 months.
The Afar liyu police have been killing innocent people for 11 months. We have lost more than 300 lives most of them being the elderly, women and children. We lost more than 7000 livestock which has been taken by the Afar state. More than 1000 homes have been destroyed. An entire city called Danlahelay has been burnt down and some of its citizens have been burnt alive. More than 20,000 people have been displaced and all of this is happening inside Somalia state. Not the Afar region.
For 11 months there were constant attacks on pastoral Somali people in that area by afar liyu police and afar rebels.
The Somali state has tried to resolve this issue peacefully by contacting the afar state to request that they stop illegally crossing the border. In response the Afar state intensified their aggression and annexed 150km inside Sitti zone (Somali state) for the past 11 months
To raise awareness for our people’s suffering we called for help and we asked Somali media outlets including Hiiraan online to broadcast our problems to the public.
We were denied. No one tried to understand our suffering
Now Somali state, as a result of several failed peaceful negotiation attempts, has decided to defend their people against the aggression. They sent Somali troops to safeguard the sovereignty of their state and their people.
Now we are hearing propaganda in social media stating that the special forces from Somalia and Djibouti attacked afar region. That information it is not true and the Ethiopian government themselves stated the reports were false and baseless.
As a Somali news outlet, it is your duty to present your stories with credibility and truth. Your recent article which you have quoted from unreliable source with the headline, “Ethiopia: Gunmen killed at least 17 people, wounded 34 in the Afar Region.” Not only is lacking credibility but also affects your websites ratings and also misrepresents the pastoral people who for the last 11 months have been victims of genocide and gross human rights violations.
The article published on your site was incorrectly researched and can be viewed as defamation against the two sovereign countries Somalia and Djibouti.
Now We the Sitti diaspora ask you:
1- To please Seek the truth and write only the truth
2- To take down the article from your site to prevent misinformation
3- To issue the people of Sitti an apology
4- To Formally apologise to the Republic of Somalia and the Republic of Djibouti for the article
The Diaspora of Sitti