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Ethiopia vows sustained crackdown in restive region

Monday August 27, 2018

The Ethiopian security agencies will continue the crackdown against the violence in the country's Somali region, state television ETV announced.

ETV made the announcement on Monday afternoon following the arrest of the region's president, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, also known as Abdi Illey.

ETV stated that the police had also recovered five guns in Illey's house in Addis Ababa following his arrest.

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According to the state broadcaster, Illey and his collaborators would be charged with causing ethnic and religious clashes and human rights violations.

Kept in cells

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who briefed reporters on Friday afternoon, indicated that prisoners in Somali region were kept in cells along with a live lion, a tiger and a hyena to scare the inmates.
“The human right abuses we heard about in this area are like what we see in horror movies, or read in fiction,” Mr Abiy told reporters.

"It is not something one can imagine happening in Ethiopia.”

Lobby groups and individuals have been critical of Illey's human rights violations since he took power 10 years ago.

Common border

Following the raging crisis, the region's ruling Somali People’s Democratic Party (SPDP), has elected Mr Ahmed Shide as its new chairman.

Somali region is Ethiopia's second-largest but also one of its most unstable.
Several lives were last year lost in clashes between the Somali and the Oromo communities along their common border. An estimated 1.1 million others were displaced.

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