President of Somali state in Ethiopia arrives in Addis Ababa

The president of the Somali state in Ethiopia, Mustafa Mohamed Omar arrived in Addis Ababa for the third time in a month amid escalating political tension in the ruling party.

Reports from Ethiopia indicate that eleven members of the regional state’s cabinet, including Mustafa, have arrived in Addis Ababa on Friday afternoon, where they are expected to brief PM Abiy Ahmed about the situation in the Somali regional state.

In the past, Somali region vice president said members of the ruling party are working on a plot to oust the sitting president Mustafa Mohamed, who has been in office for six months.

Mohamed has accused the chairman of the ruling party Ahmed Shide who is also the Minister of Finance of Ethiopia of committing treason and plotting a coup.

The current president has replaced Abdi Mohammed Omer who was arrested after three days of deadly violence in the regional capital Jijiga in August. Rights groups said his administration had set out to provoke ethnic bloodshed and had ordered a paramilitary force to attack minorities.

After a five-month investigation, prosecutors had decided to charge Abdi and 45 other officials, 40 of them who are still on the run, the Federal Attorney’s Office said. Abdi has made no public statement about the charges.

“Horrific crimes have taken place. It had become a country where victims’ throats were slit, others burnt alive or buried alive and left for dead,” the Office’s communications director, Zinabu Tunu, told reporters.

Fifty-eight people died and 266 others were injured during the violence, including a priest set on fire inside a church, Zinabu added. Encouraging ethnic strife amounted to inciting a civil war, the office said.

Abdi Mohammed Omer spent more than a decade in charge of the remote and largely lawless region on the border with Somalia, much of that time spent trying to crush separatist ONLF rebels. Rights groups regularly accused his administration of abuses including torture during the fight with insurgents.



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