Somalia: Ethiopia frees jailed ONLF commander

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - The Government of Ethiopia has released a senior ONLF commander, Abdikarim Muse, popularly known as "Qalbi Dhagah" after serving nearly a year in jail, Garowe Online reports.

Fawzi Mohamed Ali, a traditional elder has confirmed to the media that he was released on Thursday morning at around 8 A.M. local time following months of efforts to set free the detained opposition commander.

Qalbi Dhagah is a key member of Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] which is a separatist rebel group fighting for the right to self-determination for Somalis in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

He was captured in central Somalia last year and handed over to Ethiopia by the Federal Government of in Mogadishu in August 2017. His extradition has sparked a public outcry and condemnation.

The move comes as ONLF officials are in Asmara, Eritrea's capital, for a decisive conference to settle on next steps towards the ongoing unprecedented changes in Ethiopia.

Sources tell GO that Qalbi Dhagah is expected to be flown to Nairobi soon.

Since coming to power just over two months ago, the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed has taken a series of remarkable steps that are transforming the political map and restoring trust in public authority.

Despite making significant development on several fronts, Ethiopia's new leadership faces serious risks from within which is said could jeopardize the progress made over the last two months.