ADDIS ABEBA —- Addis Standard confirmed that members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) have surrounded Abdi Mohomud Omar, a.k.a Abdi Illey, president of the Ethiopian Somali regional state, at his “presidential palace,” since the last two hours.
The defense forces are also placing what a government source said was “key members of his administration,” who are suspected of assisting the youth in Jigjiga city, the capital, undertake looting and vandalism since this morning “under arrest.”
According to our source, Abdi Illey will be placed under federal custody “in order to prevent further bloodshed in the region.” The federal defense forces who have surrounded him “are on stand by for further instructions.”
“Some members of the ENDF have been killed since last night by suspected members of the Liyu police following instructions from the president,” our source said, but declined to mention the exact number saying it is still under investigations.
Abdi Illey was requested yesterday by the federal government to call off a meeting he announced calling the regional parliament and his cabinet members on Thursday evening and attend instead a meeting with federal authorities and members of the security and intelligence to “discuss escalating situation in the region.”
However, “he threatened to invoke article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution in response to the security meeting called by the federal government. His security forces have also detained several members of the Liyu Police who have refused to take direct order from him,” our source said.
As of this morning, chaos, looting, vandalism and burning of a church and various business centers is ongoing by what our source said was two different groups of the youth.
“We understand that a large number of youth supporting the president are engaged in looting and threatening civilians of different ethnic groups. The second group, who are opposed to the president and the Liyu Police under his instruction are trying to protect civilians and safeguard businesses, but some are engaged in the looting.
The federal army are trying to contain this escalating situation with as little damage as possible. The federal government’s priority is to protect the safety of civilians of different ethnic groups under threat from the youth who are going door-to-door and provoking and inciting violence. Further reinforcement of federal forces will be deployed within the coming hours.” AS