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Somali region's ex-spy chief arrested in Hargeisa, Somaliland

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
The people of Somali region are rejoicing after the news of the capture of Col Mukhtar Mohamed Sheikh Subane

HARGEISA, Somaliland - Notorious spy chief Colonel Mukhtar Mohamed Sheikh Subane, who has been on the run for a couple of months, has finally been arrested.

Accused of violation of human rights and unprecedented torture against Somali people in Ethiopia's Somali region, Mukhtar had been hiding. The people of the Somali region are rejoicing after the news of his capture.

Security forces within Ethiopia had earmarked him as one of the most wanted officials in the former regime over atrocities committed in the region.

Mohamed Olad, the Communication and Media advisor for President Mustafa Omer, confirmed the arrest on his Facebook account on Sunday.

According to him, the former spy was arrested in Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway region of Somaliland in Somalia.

"Muktar Sheikh Subane was apprehended in Hargeisa Somaliland in collaboration with Somaliland security agencies," he said without disclosing the day when the arrest was made.

The advisor further said Mukhtar instigated crimes "targeting of different ethnic groups and places of worship on the last days of Abdi Iley regime".

Photos purportedly of Mukhtar have been making rounds on social media. He's seen being escorted in handcuffs by security forces.

Before joining Abdi Iley, Subane was Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) fighter. He joined Liyu Police and quickly and quickly rose ranks to chief spy.

He has also been on the wanted list of the federal prosecutor general’s office among other Abdi Iley close associates and facilitators.

A few months ago, Hassan Dheere, another wanted operative, was captured in Puntland, Somalia over the Somali region skirmishes that left thousands dead.

However, despite these higher-profile arrests, most of those accused of orchestrating the most heinous crimes against the Somali people are still at large,

Notable among them are Abdirahman Labagolle, Abdi Iley’s chief security administrator and Liyu Police commander, Mohamed Olad added.

Although the Somali region is enjoying relative peace, President Omer has been at loggerheads with ONLF leaders among them Abdirahman Mahdi.

The arrest of Mukhtar and subsequent prosecutions could yet again exonerate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has been pushing for justice.

Ahmed, a Nobel laureate, has paved way for a series of radical reforms in Ethiopia, which are also said to have precipitated ethnic violence.

When he took over in 2018, Ahmed released hundreds of political prisoners across all regions in his been to push for liberalism in Ethiopia.

His government has however been under pressure to arrest and prosecute people believed to have instigated violence across Ethiopia in the recent past.