It was a three months ago, when the Ethiopian interior ministry issued a statement halting Somali people receiving national identity cards.
The reason for this refusal of providing national identity cards to people from the Somali region is a distrust from the federal officials of the national identity of people receiving Ethiopian cards.
Around five hundred of the diaspora community are expected to travel to see their families before the new year and are awaiting identity cards. Ethiopian embassy staff are hiding the truth behind the refusal of providing Identity cards to the Somali community.
This situation is even more dire for citizens living in the Somali regional state, since they cannot start businesses, gain employment or even travel within Ethiopia without a national Identity card.
According to information sources received from Jijiga the Somali authority had sent a formal request to the ministry of interior several times to remove this ban on the national identity cards. Unfortunately, the authority have received no reply.
The president Abdi travelled to Addis Ababa two weeks ago for talks about this situation with the concerned officials but he met with no response from the immigration officials.
The Somali authority went to great lengths to ensure that the national identity cards went to the right people by establishing several institutions. The special diaspora Office was created to identify the foreign individuals of Ethiopian origins, similar procedures as other Ethiopian states. The regional justice office, the high court, the registration office of the district council and security office are responsible ensuring people acquire the national identity card.
The federal ministry of interior believe that all these institutions are corrupt and can not be trusted any more, because they are Somali.
Somali people in the Ogaden region prior to three years ago have not applied for the Ethiopian identity cards, because they believed they are not Ethiopian or that Ethiopia itself did not allow Somalis to receive Identity cards.
This is the reason behind the nationality crisis and the long conflict in the Ogaden region which still rages on today led by the Ogaden national liberation front (ONLF).
The federal government of Ethiopia claims that all the ethnicities within Ethiopia are equal in the eyes of the law and society but denying the national identity cards to people of the Somali regional state is unjust and creates inequality since all other ethnicities have the right to a national identity card. This inequality contradicts the Ethiopian constitution.