The family of the ONLF official, Abdikarim Muse aka Qalbi Dhagah has called for his immediate release terming the government’s move to hand him over to the Ethiopian regime a betrayal of the country’s sovereignty.
Speaking exclusively to Goobjoog News, both Dhagah’s wife and daughter said the accusations on Dhagah and claims he held an Ethiopian passport were false.
The daughter, Fartun Abdikarim Muse said she does not know the whereabouts of her father and that she has not received any information from the Somali government on his fate. Fartun described her father as a fighter for the Somali cause and in courageous defense of the ‘Blue Flag’ (Somali flag) from Ethiopian forces.
“My father has never committed any treasonable offense against the country (Somalia) but defended it. He was made a criminal by President Farmaajo (Abdullahi Mohamed) and Kheyre (Prime Minister Hassan Khaire) and handed him to the enemy he has fought against for a long time,” said Fartun in a bitter tone.
“I am telling President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Khaire that if they don’t return my father immediate they should know their administration will crumble and no government will be in place,” lamented Fartun.
Ethiopian government confirmed this week it had received Dhagah whom it said had ‘traveled voluntarily with the facilitation of the Somali government’. Somali government is yet to confirm the transfer of Dhagah but intelligence chief Abdullahi Mohamed Sanbaloolshe described the matter as ‘sensitive’.
The transfer of Dhagah has sparked sharp criticism against the government with demonstrations being held in parts of the country including Mogadishu. Somalis in the social media have equally weighed in on the matter with many describing it a violation of the Provisional Constitution which outlaws extradition of citizens in the absence of relevant laws. Others have observed the transfer was an exchange for the 114 Somali prisoners who were released from Ethiopian jails in July following Prime Minister Khaire’s negotiations with Addis Ababa.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) which has been fighting for the right to self-determination for Somalis in the Ogadenia region of Ethiopia described Dhagah as a freedom fighter adding his extradition is a violation of the UN Convention on Status of Refugees.
Dhagaf’s wife Khadro Mohamed Abdi accused intelligence chief Sanbaloolshe of facilitating the hand-over of her husband to Ethiopia adding both President Farmaajo and PM Khaire approved the hand over.
“He was handed over to Ethiopia and landed in Addis Ababa. We were told Thabit (Mogadishu mayor Thabit Abdi Mohamed) accompanied him. He was sold and purchased by the Ethiopians.”
On the claim by Ethiopia that Dhagah travelled on an Ethiopia passport, Khadro dismissed it as ‘a fabrication by those who arrested and handed him over. Abdikarim used to have a Somali passport. They made for him a fake diplomatic passport and took all documents from him.”
“I am appealing to President Farmaajo and Premier Kheyre to return the freedom of my husband Abdikarim Muse and bring him back to his country and release him from Ethiopian government. Return him to under his flag so that we can see him again. I only say this.”
The family urged public pressure to ensure the release of their kin.
Meanwhile a lawmaker, Ibrahim Qono has warned someone must shoulder the responsibility for the arrest and handover of Dhagh and explain to the nation.
“Someone has to take the responsibility. You can imprison a Somali national. We have a court. If he is handed over to another party, according to me, it is an issue that is against the constitution. It is a matter against nationalism and unity. Personally I am saying the responsible person must confess. The government must disclose. The parliament has to punish the culprit on behalf of the Somali citizens” Qono.