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Leader of Somali state in Ethiopia dismisses Qalbi Dhagah as a criminal

Storyline:National News
Abdikarim Muse aka Qalbi Dhagah was arrested and handed over to Ethiopia by Somali. Photo: internet

The governor of the Somali state of Ethiopia Abdi Mohamed Omar has dismissed public clamour in Somalia for the release of embattled ONLF leader Abdikarim Muse aka Qalbi Dagah who was handed over to the Ethiopian regime last week terming him a criminal.

Omar said Qalbi Dhagah had committed a series of criminal acts including killings, rape and robbery adding, ‘sympathising with him is just like feeling pity for Al-Shabaab’.

“He committed offences- killings, robbery and rape and ran into the bush where he became a member of ONLF. He also caused a lot of problems in the Shabelle regions. His case is now lying with the Ethiopian government and will face the law” said Omar.

Omar’s remarks run counter to accounts by Qalbi Dhagah’s kin who have described him as a freedom fighter and a staunch supporter for the cause of the Somali flag.

“My father has never committed any treasonable offense against the country (Somalia) but defended it. He was made a criminal by President Farmaajo (Abdullahi Mohamed) and Kheyre (Prime Minister Hassan Khaire) and handed him to the enemy he has fought against for a long time,” Qalbi Dhagah’s daughter Fartun Abdikarim Muse told Goobjoog News Monday.

The Ethiopian government confirmed Sunday it had received Qalbi Dhagah following the support of the Somali government. It said the ONLF leader had travelled on an Ethiopian passport, a matter the wife Khadro Mohamed Abdi dismissed as a fabrication by those who arrested and handed him over adding, ‘Abdikarim used to have a Somali passport. They made for him a fake diplomatic passport and took all documents from him.”

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has rubbished Ethiopia’s account that Qalbi Dhagah travelled voluntarily to Ethiopia.

Omar who heads the Somali region of Ogadenia said the public uproar against Qalboi Dhagah’s transfer was misplaced and based on lack on information.

“Shedding tears for Abdikarim is similar to feeling sympathetic for Al-Shabaab and other affiliated groups with foreign support. Somali demonstrations must put focus on the atrocities committed by Al-Shabaab in Somalia than getting engaged in the biography of Abdikarim like taking part in the war of 1977 between Somalia and Ethiopia.”

Demonstrations have been ongoing this week putting pressure on the government to change its position over the matter but the government has remained largely mute. Somalis have also taken to the social media accusing the government of violating the Provisional Constitution in handing over its citizen to a foreign land.