Ethiopian Somali party governing turbulent Jijiga region gets new chairman

Ahmed Shide, a young seemingly progressive man, is elected to lead Ethiopian Somali People’s Democratic Party. Restoring order and security in the region is top agenda for the party.

Ahmed Shide
New chairman of Ethiopia Somali People’s Democratic Party, Ahmed Shide
Photo : EBC

borkena
August 12,2018

Ethiopian Somali People’s Democratic Party central committee elected a young and progressive leader to lead the party.

Ahmed Shide, the new chairman, will be replacing the notorious Abdi Illey, who had been head of the region and chairman of the party for more than ten years until reportedly resigned this week in connection with the instability in Jijiga and other towns in the region.

Ahmed Shide is currently serving as Ethiopian Federal Government Communication Affairs Minister; he was picked by prime minister Abiy Ahmed for that portfolio.

His appointment came after three days of meeting of the central committee of the party following the situation in the region in Eastern Ethiopia, according to a report by state media today.

More than 29 people were killed in Jijiga, Dire Dawa and Kebri Dehar, among other towns, this week when the loyal forces of Abdi Illey (Somali region special forces) and Youth group organized by the collapsed administration of the regime opened attack on non-Somali speaking Ethiopians. In the ensuing condition, businesses were looted, more than ten churches were burned, and thousands of residents of the cities mentioned above were displaced taking refugee in military barracks and churches.

Uneasy calm is restored in the region. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed said yesterday the situation in the region is under control and that his government is working in consultation with the regional administration.

The region’s special force (Liyu Haile) is instructed to work in coordination with the defense force which was deployed to the region a few days ago following an alleged move by the outgoing president Abdi llley’s mobilization to secede from Ethiopia.

The party has announced that the priority is to make the region safe and secure.

The region has been unstable and challenge for more than a year now. More than half a million people were displaced from along the Ethio-Somali region and Oromo regional state border in 2017.

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed started his domestic tour with the region following his election as prime minister in early April of this year.

The fate of the former president of the region is not clearly known as there are conflicting information and the government has not disclosed about it.



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