Al-Shabaab militants sentenced in Ethiopia

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - A court in Ethiopia has sentenced several Al-Shabaab convicts, including a military leader, who has been coordinating activities of the group for the last several years within the Horn of Africa nation.

The 41 militants were slapped with various jail sentences with the military leader getting life imprisonment, officials said. The Al-Shabab militants have been trying to infiltrate interior parts of the country but have not managed to fulfill their mission.

It is the 4th bench of Ethiopia’s Federal high court in Dire Dawa that sentenced them after they failed to bring a defense witness, Borkena.com reports.

Reports from government sources identified Hussien Almed (alias Hussein Gap) as the first defendant. He was working for the militant organization as a military leader – according to the Ethiopian government. Ibrahim Jibril, a junior military leader, was the second defendant.

They were reportedly charged with terrorism charges after Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice’s Transborder Crime Affairs Division Directorate General heard 57 witnesses and 396 documented evidence in October 2022, officials said.

The convicts, authorities said, have been members of Al-Shabaab militants since 2019 and are believed to be the architects of attacks within Ogaden throughout 2021. They completed training in the neighboring Somalia, officials said.

Reports further indicate that the convicts were operating in several districts in the Afder zone. Some of the suspects were charged with supplying arms to the group that was tasked to carry out the terrorist activity within Ethiopia.

They have reportedly caused the death of 265 citizens and injured 323 others including Somali region’s special forces. In terms of property, the report from the Ethiopian government said the damage they caused is estimated to be 13,550,000 Ethiopian birr.

Furthermore, they had looked at two lorries of goats and sheep as well as 119 camels from the part of the Somali region of Ethiopia where they had been operating, authorities further said.

Hussien Almed is sentenced to life in prison while 19 other defendants are sentenced to 11 and 12 years prison without parole. 8 defendants are sentenced to 8 and 9 years without parole. And 10 defendants with 7 and 8 years in prison without parole.

Ethiopia is a major security stakeholder in Somalia, having contributed at least 4,000 soldiers to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). The government of Somalia is intending to take full responsibility for security in the country by the end of this year upon full implementation of the Somali Transition Plan.

GAROWE ONLINE

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