Detained former Somali region president, Abdi Iley, appeared before a Federal high court yesterday just a few days after he was captured in his villa in the capital Addis Ababa. He was arrested days after the regional council lifted their immunity.
Four other suspects who were cabinet members of his regional government in South Eastern Ethiopia have also appeared in court along with their former boss. Rahma Mohammed (Women and Children department head), Abdrazak Sani (Diaspora Affairs Office head) and Sultan Mohammed (Irrigation Development Office head) are some of them, according to a report by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.
They are charged with inciting ethnic-based violence, arming the youth (the youth organization is known as Heggo) in the region to massacre civilians and burning churches in the region. They are also facing charges of squandering public resources and causing dislocation of tens of thousands of civilians in the region.
The youth group massacred 96 men in a single day in different towns in the region, according to Federal Police Commissioner General Jemal Zeinu who spoke to BBC this week.
Abdi Iley, who governed the region ruthlessly for well over a decade, reportedly sought bail right but the court denied him while granting the federal police fifteen more days to complete further investigation. Mustafa Mohammed Omar is now the acting president for the region with the rank of deputy president.
Former Somali Police Commissioner arrested
Ethiopian government media, EBC, has reported today that former Somali region police commissioner, Ferhan Tehari, is also captured and he appeared before the Federal high court too.
He is charged with organizing the youth (hagoo) to cause chaos in the region.
It was in the news that the youth group mainly attacked ethnic Amharas and ethnic Oromos but they have also attacked ethnic Somalis who opposed the ethnically motivated killings.
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