Mustafa sworn-in as new Ethio-Somali region, MPs lost immunity
JIGJIGA, Ethiopia - Mustafa Mohamed Omar has taken the oath as the new president of the Somali region of Ethiopia in the capital, Jigjiga on Sunday, August 26, Garowe Online reports.
The U.N. aid worker star-turned politician will be the first non-ESPDP member to become the president of the regional state after the resignation of the embattled former leader Abdi Illey last month.
He has been picked by the ruling party's executive members and leaders of various clans following an extraordinary meeting in Addis Ababa last week, the 22nd August.
The new regional leader, 45, will hold the position on acting bases until the upcoming General election slated for 2020.
Locals hailed the appointment of Omar, a former fierce critic of Abdi Illey who ruled the region with an “iron fist” for more than a decade and the rampant abuse of human rights by the notorious Liyu police.
The new President pledged to protect and promote the 'rights' of the people, deal with the security and humanitarian situation in the state during his oath-taking ceremony at the parliament house in Jigjiga.
This happened after Omar has arrived in the state capital from Addis Ababa on Sunday, where he was welcomed by a large cheering crowd, including ESPDP members and former government officials.
- Former President among MPs lost impunity -
The regional assembly has unanimously voted to strip former President and 6 other lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for charges in connection with human abuses scandal.
The MPs lost impunity are; Abdi Illey, ex-President, Rahma Haybe, Abdijamal Ahmed, Ibrahim Aden Sa’ab, Deqa Abdi Burale, Ibrahim M. Mubarak, Omar Mohamed Rooti, Jigjiga mayor, all expected to be arraigned in court.
Sources tell Garowe Online that Omar's predecessor remains in custody after being recently transferred back to Jigjiga from the Ethiopian capital as he awaits trial on charges of human rights violations.
Additionally, the parliament also voted "null and void" last July's decision by ex-President to shape administrative councils for 22 towns and create 99 new districts, bring the total to 92.
The announcement has stirred deadly extensive protests and looting in the region, which lastly forced Abdi Illey to quit after pressure from his people and the Federal Government of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.
Last Month, Human Rights Watch has called on the Ethiopian government to investigate Abdi Illey and senior officials served in his former administration of war crimes and human rights abuses.