ADDIS-ABABA (Halbeeg News) – The former president of the Somali region in Ethiopia, Abdi Mohamed Omer along with three of his former ministers will today appear in court to face criminal charges for allegedly organizing the local youth to cause death and displacement of many people in the territory.
The three ministers who will be charged along with Omer are Rahma Mohammed Haibe, former minister of women and children; Abdurazak Sani, former minister of diaspora and Sultan Mohammed, former minister of irrigation development.
Mr. Omer former 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, according to Human Rights Watch reports issued last Month.
The former President of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State was arraigned in court late last month before the court gave the prosecutor 14 days ultimatum to conclude the investigations in the case.
Mr. Omer asked for his bail rights mentioning that he was sick being diagnosed for hypertension, gastric ulcer and poor provision of health facilities and meals at the detention centers but the court denied him a bail.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), who have consistently documented human rights violations in the Somali region, welcomed the arrest and prosecution of Omer as a ‘start to justice’.
‘‘Hopefully, the arrest of Abdi is a start to justice for victims of serious crimes in the region. Other officials who directed and supported abuses, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, should also be held to account,’‘ said HRW’s Maria Burnett