I have received reports of conflict in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
The Ogaden is – according to these reports – in a state of turmoil, with clashes occurring in several locations.
Communal violence between Somali and Oromo communities is reported to be continuing in several parts of Western Ogaden, including to villages near Tulliguled, Babili and Qubi.
The background to these events is the ousting of the region’s long serving president Abdi Mohamoud Omar, popularly referred to as Abdi Illey.
Abdi Illey, then commander of the regional paramilitary force, the Liyu Police, is severally accused of gross human rights abuse leading to deaths, displacement, imprisonment, torture and targeting of dissenting voices.
The former president is accused of establishing covert torture centres to suppress opposition to his tyrannical rule.
According to the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), Abdi Illey was “arrested for allegedly being behind the human rights violations as well as the ethnic and religious clashes that have happened in the Ethiopian Somali region” after the country’s attorney general began examining possible charges.
Speaking to reporters, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused Abdi Illey of throwing prisoners to lions, tigers and hyenas.
The Prime Minister said: “It is hard to believe this took place in today’s Ethiopia but the animals were kept alongside the prisoners and used to force confessions as a tool of intimidation. People were raped and killed, looting was rampant. What happened there was shameful.”
He described a caged room where detainees were thrown to predators to extract confessions, comparing it to “a scene out of a movie or a fiction book”.
Meanwhile, the New Administration of the Somali State sent a delegation of elders to the former head of the Liyuu Police General Abdirahman Abdullahi Burale (Abdirahman Labago’le).
The New President of the Somali State, Mustafe Mohumed Omar, (Agjar) fired him and several former commanders of the Liyuu Police, who had been loyal to Abdi Iley, the former regional administrator.