MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali cabinet has on Sunday approved a resolution to reverse a Sept 2017 decision to level Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) as a terrorist organization following the Rendition of Abdikarin Sheikh Muse known as “Qalbi Dhagah” to Ethiopia.
Members of the cabinet have voted for the resolution – 23 voted in favour, 1 voted against, 1 abstained.
Reliable sources say the minister of finance Abdirahman Du’alle Beileh was the only member who voted against the resolution. The minister of youth and sports Hamse Said Hamse abstained. Both have yet to comment on the issue publicly
Meanwhile, ONLF welcomes Sunday’s decision by Somali PM Mohamed Hussein Roble and his cabinet to remove its organization from the terrorist list after nearly 5 years.
In a Twitter post, ONLF called the decision as a historic move that the people in Ogaden would cherish for centuries to come.
“ONLF commends The PM of Somalia and his cabinet. This is a historic landmark decsion that the #Somali people in #Ogaden will cherish for centuries to come. This is a lesson to those who transgress against the just rights of peoples”, the ONLF tweeted.
In 2017, the rendition of Abdikarim Qalbi Dhagah to Ethiopia sparked a social media uproar and protests against the government by nationalist politicians.
Small demonstrations took place in Mogadishu and elsewhere like at Kenya’s Dadaab camp for Somali refugees against the transfer of Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, a top member of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
But, Somali government defended the controversial decision to hand over a prominent Ogaden rebel leader to authorities in Ethiopia.
Somalia said that Mogadishu and Addis Ababa reached an agreement in 2015 that designates both the ONLF and Somalia-based al-Shabab as terror groups.