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Ethiopian authorities: “no attempt made to help Abdi Illey escape prison”

Prison authorities in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa dismissed The Ethiopian Reporter news coverage regarding foiled plot to help former somali region president Abdi Illey as “entirely false” news.

Abdi Illey _ Ethiopian authorities
Abdi Illey ,former president of Ethiopia-Somali region

August 7, 2019

On August 7, 2019, The Ethiopian Reporter reported on its Amharic page that individuals who planned to help former Somali region president, Abdi Illey, were arrested.

The Reporter cited what it called “its sources” to report that the incident happened on Monday, August 5, 2019, and the plan was to help Abdi Illey escape as he was returning to prison from a court hearing in the capital Addis Ababa.

Unidentified individuals ( did not specify number) parked a vehicle near the entrance of Kaliti prison in the outskirts of Addis Ababa and that they resisted traffic police order to move their cars from where it was parked, according to the report by the Ethiopian Reporter.

In the ensuing moment, there was an exchange of fire as the police wanted to search the car and one person was killed – not specified again whether the person killed was from the side of law enforcement bodies or the suspects.

Furthermore, the report added that the individuals rented a house in the neighborhood of Kaliti prison.

The government claims the fake news. According to Wazema radio which cited Ethio FM 107.8, there was no attempt to help former Somali region president escape from prison.  The FM station also said, as reported by Wazema, the gunfire incident is related to attempt to capture an individual who is identified as Tamrat Bekele Tolla who is said to be a suspect who opened fire on police officers and wounded one.

Similarly, Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) reported on Wednesday that the head of the prison administration told ESAT that the news about the attempt to help Abdi Illey escape from prison is entirely false.

Abdi Illey is charged in connection with killings of dozens of people, internal displacement of residents and burning churches, among other things, in early 2018.

He was arrested in late August 2018 in the capital Addis Ababa, as government claimed back then.

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