Ethiopia – Abdi Iley charged

AFP- Ethiopian prosecutors on Wednesday charged the former president of the restive Somali region with inciting violence, state media reported.

The
charges against Abdi Mohamed Omar and 46 others follow three days of
clashes last August that killed 58 people and injured 266, according to
figures issued by Ethiopia’s attorney general last week.

Abdi, better known as Abdi Iley, was arrested later that month after stepping down as the region’s president.

Prosecutors
said on Wednesday that Abdi would be charged with sponsoring a youth
group that carried out atrocities, including rape, during the fighting.

“People
were killed in the violence, in addition to (the) displacement of
several people, damages caused to public and private properties,” the
state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported, citing the court
documents.

The identities of the 46 others, who face the same
charges, remain unclear, but the attorney general said last week six
people had been arrested and 40 remained at large, Fana reported.

The
southeast Somali region is Ethiopia’s second-largest but also one of
its most unstable. Rights groups repeatedly accused Abdi’s
administration of sanctioning abuses.

His downfall followed the
Ethiopian military’s deployment in the regional capital, which sparked
looting and mob attacks on non-Somali residents.

The violence was
the most serious in Somali region since 2017, when clashes between
Somalis and the neighbouring Oromo people along the borders of their
ethnically demarcated states forced 1.1 million people from their homes
and left hundreds dead.

Abdi’s downfall came months after last
April’s inauguration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who pledged to
crackdown on human rights abusers.

Source

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