June 23, 2012 ·14 Comments
Sultan Hirsi Qani thanks President Omar
JIGJIGA — Abdi Mohamed Omar (“Abdi Iley”), the president of Somali Regional State of Ethiopia this week released 43 men as part of negotiations with members of the Isaaq tribe.
The freed men were part of a 50 detainees picked up by Ethiopian government-backed paramilitary force during tribal clashes at the end of last year in the Daawaley district.
Tribal feuds have been running high for the past eight months in the region between Isaaq and the Ogaden and Abdi Iley, also an Ogaden, has been accused of taking sides using Ethiopian government resources.
In the same operations, the Liyu police under the direct command of Abdi Iley executed ten men belonging to the Arab subclan of Isaaq.
Releases have come amid efforts to end the war through negotiations between Abdi Iley and Sultan Mohammed Hersi Qani, one of the tribal chiefs of the Arab clan.
On Friday, Sultan Qani broke the news during a press briefing saying he agreed an agreement with Mr. Iley after several months of deliberations.
“We met for four hours almost on daily basis recently, and I can now confirm that the people would be released tomorrow,” he told local press.
He went on to say: “I thank the President of the area for having extended the good gesture from the sake of peaceful stability amongst local residents”.
The men were convicted harshly in a Jigjiga court for periods ranging from 15 to 25 years. Some were sentenced to life in prisons without parole in what was largely seen as tramped up charges. None of the Ogaden tribesmen who were involved in the violence faced any legal preceding.
Similar clashes occurred in the village of Raqda in Gashaamo district that claimed over twenty lives, barely four months after the Daawaley incident.
The Ethiopian government which had since released the Gashaamo culprits got a tough tongue lashing from the international human rights commission last month. Human Rights Watch revealed in its May report that the force summarily executed men belonging to the Isaaq clan while also carrying out widespread practices of torture, looting, rape and arbitrary executions.
“The Liyu police abuses in Somali region show the urgent need for the Ethiopian government to rein in this lawless force,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
The Liyu force operating with immunity has shown a deplorable lack of regard for human rights doing as it wishes under its ‘anti-terror’ agenda. Without Addis Ababa’s awareness, Abdi Iley has managed to hijack the force for his own tribal agenda which could destabilize the entire Somali regional state.
By MA EggeFollow @somalilandpress
By goth Mohamed