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Party leader removes nearly a dozen from ESPDP

Hiiraan Online
Monday August 20, 2018

Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office and Ethiopian Somali People Democratic Party Chairman, Ahmed Shide. File PHOTO

Addis Ababa (HOL) - Ethiopia’s Communication Minister and newly minted chairman of the Ethiopian Somali People Democratic Party (ESPDP), Ahmed Shide, has announced that three senior members of his party have been removed from the executive committee for their role in inciting ethnic violence in the region during a power struggle earlier this month between the federal government and the regional government.

At a press conference in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Monday, Shide said that in addition to the three members of the executive committee, eight members from the party’s central committee were also removed.

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The chairman said that the decision was taken to ensure that all actors involved in the incitement of the community and the violent deaths that occurred earlier this month in the Ethiopian-Somali region were brought to book.

"There is a legal action against criminal gangs who misbehaved during the violence," said Ahmed Shide.

However,  Shide did not disclose the names of the 11 members who have been removed from the executive committee and the central committee.

Shide was elected as the party’s chairman last week, ending the near decade rule of former regional strongman President Abdi Mohamoud Omar aka Abdi Iley, who was forced to resign.

Human Rights Watch has called on Ethiopia to conduct “an in-depth, independent fact-finding mission” into the allegations of torture as well as the war crimes in Eastern Ethiopia’s Somali region.

“To break with the past, Ethiopia’s government needs to ensure justice for more than a decade of horrific abuses in the Somali region,” said Maria Burnett, East and Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda should include that those responsible for serious human rights violations, however powerful, no longer avoid justice.”

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