Ethiopia arrests former president of restive Somali region

2018-08-27 18:56


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ethiopian police on Monday detained the former president of the volatile Somali region after a spate of deadly clashes earlier this month, state media reported.

The arrest of Abdi Mohamed Omar, commonly known as Abdi Iley, came days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Abdi would face charges following fighting in the regional capital Jijiga and nearby towns.

"Abdi was arrested for allegedly being behind the human rights violations as well as the ethnic and religious clashes that have happened in the Ethiopian Somali region," Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) said, citing the attorney general.

The state broadcaster on Monday showed armed federal police officers leading Abdi out of a house in the capital Addis Ababa and into an SUV.

The unrest in Somali region began earlier this month when the Ethiopian military moved into Jijiga, sparking looting and mob attacks on non-Somali residents, witnesses told AFP.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church later said churches were burned and five priests killed in the violence.

It is unclear what sparked the military's intervention. However, on August 7, Abdi resigned.

Somali region is Ethiopia's second-largest but also one of its most unstable, and rights groups have repeatedly accused Abdi's government of using its Liyu police force to carry out abuses.

Last year, clashes between Somalis and the neighbouring Oromo people along their regional border forced 1.1 million people from their homes and left hundreds dead.

In July, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Abdi of running a secret jail where suspected members of a separatist group were tortured.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    human rights watch  |  abiy ahmed  |  ethiopia  |  east africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.