Former Ethio-Somali regional state president charged in court over incitement

Hiiraan Xog, Ethiopian Federal prosecutors charged former Somali regional state president, Abdi Muhamud Omer and 47 others for inciting inter-communal violence on Wednesday.

The charges followed findings by the attorney general’s office on its investigations into the violence that plunged cities and towns in Somali regional state on August last year. The charge sheets contain details of the investigation results.

The findings by the federal Attorney General’s office established that more than 58 people were killed while 266 were injured. The report also revealed a gruesome detail which was previously unreported, including the discovery of a mass grave where the remains of 42 of the victims were found.

The court officials out of the 47 charged in Addis bench for the case only six are under police custody. They are Rahma Mohammed Haybe, former head of women and children’s affairs bureau, and Abdulrezak Sehane Elmi, former head of the diaspora affairs office, Ferhan Tahir, former police commissioner of the Somali region, as well as two private individuals: Worseme Abdi and Guled Abel.

The court has adjourned the next hearing to 6 February 2019 during which the defence team will be presenting their statements.

Violence plunged Jigjiga, the administrative capital of Somali regional state of Ethiopia in August last year before the intervention of the Ethiopian military to calm the situation. The deadly clashes were linked to the arrest of former regional leader, Mohamed Abdi Omar by the federal government in Addis Ababa.

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