Ethiopia Arrest Abdi Illey, Former President of Somali Region

Former president of Ethiopia's Somali region arrested.
Warlord Arrested. The notorious former president of Ethiopia’s Somali Region has been taken into custody for virous crimes.

BY TESFANEWS*

The Ethiopian government today formally arrests the former president of its Somali region, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, also known as Abdi Illey, from his residence in Addis Ababa.

Quoting the federal prosecutor, the Ethiopian state broadcast ETV reports that Abdi Illey was arrested for violations of human rights, inciting ethnic and religious conflict in the restive Somali region in Eastern Ethiopia.

Abdi illey has been under house arrest in Addis Ababa since he was removed from power on August 6, 2018.



Police also found five AK45 rifles and four pistols at his residence in Addis Ababa during searches.

On Saturday, Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed told reporters measures will be taken against former officials of the Somali region, including Abdi Illey, who is suspected of orchestrating the chaos in the region earlier this month.

Abdi has been accused of abuse of power, torture and imprisonment of his critics, corruption as well as the displacement of over a million Oromos and the killing of hundreds in communal clashes under his watch.

The federal prosecutor also said other individuals who colluded with Abdi Illey in perpetrating the alleged crime have been arrested.

The Human Rights Watch and other rights watchdogs have been calling for justice in the Somali region of Ethiopia, implicating Abdi Illey and other regional officials in gross human rights violations as well as ethnic and religious strifes.



A recent report on Jail Ogaden and other reports by the Human Rights Watch implicate Abdi Illey and his special police unit, the Liyu Police, of torture, killings and imprisonment of innocent citizens.

The Liyu police and a youth group aligned with Illey have killed at least 30 people and burnt churches and looted properties early this month as pressure mounted for Illey to resign.

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During his reign of power, Abdi Illey had kept close ties with TPLF officials and army generals who used their influence to keep him in office.

The TPLF officials and army generals have been accused of abusing their position, corruption and allegedly engaged in contraband trade that is rampant in the region.

* ESAT News and AP contributed to the story.