Ethiopia arrests former president of the Somali region



ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The former president of Ethiopia & # 39; s Somali region was arrested on Monday, the state channel ETV reported.

The resignation and arrest of Abdi Mohammed Omar, a well-known politician from the eastern part of the country, came after the unrest in the Somali capital, Jigjiga and other cities in recent weeks, in which ethnic Somalis, presumably associated with Abdi, attacked people with a different ethnic background.

Video showed that Abdi was led from his villa in an upscale neighborhood in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The state television reported five Kalashnikovs and four pistols were discovered in his home.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia told journalists that measures will be taken against former officials of the Somali region, including Abdi, who is suspected of orchestrating the chaos in the region earlier in the month that led to the destruction of government offices, the plunder of companies and the burning of churches.

"What happened in the Somali region can be compared to a scene from a film or a fiction book, as prisoners were kept in prison cells, along with animals such as hyena's, lions and tigers for intimidation purposes. Pillaging was great and people were killed, "Abiy told reporters. "What happened there was shameful."

Abiy, the 42-year-old reformist leader of Ethiopia, stressed that his efforts to bring peace to the Somali region were one of the "most important and biggest". challenges of his government.

Earlier this month, Ethiopian officials said the "Liyu Police," a notorious special police force in the Somali region, launched an attack that killed 41 people and injured 20 others. In a July report, Human Rights Watch said that the "police Liyu" was accused of a ruthless pattern of abuse, torture, rape and humiliation in the region, and that the force was tied to Abdi.

"Hopefully today's arrest of Abdi Illey is a beginning of justice for victims of serious crimes in the Somali region of Ethiopia," said Maria Burnett, associate director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch.

"Other officials who directed and supported abuses, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, must also be held accountable," Burnett said. "The federal authorities must ensure that the prosecutions are transparent, strict and just and that victims and witnesses can witness without fear of reprisals."

A number of ethnic conflicts raged over Ethiopia since Abiy came to power in April.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Ethiopia arrests former president of the Somali region



ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The former president of Ethiopia & # 39; s Somali region was arrested on Monday, the state channel ETV reported.

The resignation and arrest of Abdi Mohammed Omar, a well-known politician from the eastern part of the country, came after the unrest in the Somali capital, Jigjiga and other cities in recent weeks, in which ethnic Somalis, presumably associated with Abdi, attacked people with a different ethnic background.

Video showed that Abdi was led from his villa in an upscale neighborhood in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The state television reported five Kalashnikovs and four pistols were discovered in his home.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia told journalists that measures will be taken against former officials of the Somali region, including Abdi, who is suspected of orchestrating the chaos in the region earlier in the month that led to the destruction of government offices, the plunder of companies and the burning of churches.

"What happened in the Somali region can be compared to a scene from a film or a fiction book, as prisoners were kept in prison cells, along with animals such as hyena's, lions and tigers for intimidation purposes. Pillaging was great and people were killed, "Abiy told reporters. "What happened there was shameful."

Abiy, the 42-year-old reformist leader of Ethiopia, stressed that his efforts to bring peace to the Somali region were one of the "most important and biggest". challenges of his government.

Earlier this month, Ethiopian officials said the "Liyu Police," a notorious special police force in the Somali region, launched an attack that killed 41 people and injured 20 others. In a July report, Human Rights Watch said that the "police Liyu" was accused of a ruthless pattern of abuse, torture, rape and humiliation in the region, and that the force was tied to Abdi.

"Hopefully today's arrest of Abdi Illey is a beginning of justice for victims of serious crimes in the Somali region of Ethiopia," said Maria Burnett, associate director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch.

"Other officials who directed and supported abuses, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, must also be held accountable," Burnett said. "The federal authorities must ensure that the prosecutions are transparent, strict and just and that victims and witnesses can witness without fear of reprisals."

A number of ethnic conflicts raged over Ethiopia since Abiy came to power in April.

___

Follow the news from Africa at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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