Our streets are lit

For many years, our city was in a dark mode. We haven’t had lights that shone all the time in the past. Jigjiga, our city is legitimately Ethiopia’s largest Somali city in its south eastern hemisphere. It’s been the center of the British and Italian colonial passage. The city divided Somalia and Ethiopia into a half therefore its strategic location in the horn of Africa created a fierce struggle among themselves. They competed with its rule but Italians had been more successful in its capture than the British could achieve.

Jigjiga is a city of more than 8 million indigenous Somali people scattered across the vast territories of the region but it only hosts close to a million people by estimation. Before Ethiopia took over the region which is one third of Somalia’s total landscape and Ethiopia’s largest state by size, Ogaden or howd reserved area was the name British labeled the area as most of the inhabitants are mainly from the Ogaden tribe. 

Jigjiga is one of the few underprivileged and totally ignored cities in Ethiopia’s total of what’s now 10 regional state cities. Ethiopian government, ruled by the now media-famous Tigray’s TPLF, had ignored its progress in all areas of development. They have not treated its development fair enough as other Ethiopian cities. They often associated Jigjiga as a city occupied by the secessionist group Ogaden national liberation front ONLF, a group fighting for the independence of Somali region. People were often imprisoned indiscriminately and beaten mercilessly in prisons. Jail Ogaden, a popular prison in the city, served as a center of punishment for political prisoners. The reason why it earned this name is that most of the political inmates were from the largest Ogaden clan who resides in the region. The prison could possibly be found in Google as massive human rights violations and tortures happened in ten years of its existence. Human rights organizations have documented countless abuses in the area and published them in several rights group journals. The man who led this region for nearly 10 years was a brutal doctor and TPLF affiliate who never showed mercy to anyone against his rule. He’s now in jail for his third year in a row for the crimes he had committed against his own people. In his last day of office before he was forcefully removed from the city by Abey Ahmed, Ethiopia’s current premier, he burned the city with fuel and destroyed public and private properties. He defied for days but the damage he had done was for more irreversible.

An old picture of the newly constructed road leading to Jigiga university

In the past, it was difficult for the university students and other residents to pass through the other side of the road whenever it rains as floods block crossings and restrict movements.

The new road
The new road, it has a pedestrian side

Somali region of Ethiopia is famously known for its camel rearing. The region has close a 3 million camel heads

A typical camel in the area
Our new president behind all of these new road projects.

After Abdi Iley was removed from office, a new president was appointed by the prime minister Abey. The new president is the brother of a man killed by the former president. It’s said that he was thrown out of a speeding car. The brother of the deceased is now the president who has been for a long time an activist. He quickly began to recover many destroyed public properties, damaged schools and businesses shops. New road projects began three years ago are now up running. Street lights are put up and the night life is completely enjoyable. Only I and other people from our city can see how far we have come from seeing what these new lights and roads mean to us and the public now. People started to take a walk over nights and enjoy the red views of lights across the main streets. I’m glad to see my city making these progresses in such a short period of time and quickly recovering from its past damage. I hope I shed a light of what our city was like in the past and how it looks now. If you like my growing WordPress blog, please hit like and let me know what you think I should improve in the comment section.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a nice day/night!

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