Somalia and Djibouti extradited over 380 members of the ONLF

Mogadishu (AXADLE) – Somali and Djibouti governments have deported more than 387 Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) members over the past 20 years, the group’s spokesman confirmed.

ONLF is a rebel group that had been fighting Ethiopian forces in the east of the country for more than three decades to secede from Ethiopia.

Abdikadir Hassan Hirmoge spoke to the BBC Somali Service, a spokesman for the ONLF, and said that at least top officials from the group in Mogadishu had been handed over to the Ethiopian government.

Among those arrested from the capital is Abdikarim Sheikh Muse Qalbi-dhagah. The handover of Qalbi-dhagah had led to public outrage as the Somali parliament debated the issue.

Parliament later described the arrest and extradition of Qalbi-dhagah as illegal.

Three years later, the Somali cabinet this week revoked its 2017 controversial decision to place the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) on its terror list.

The Somali cabinet today voted overwhelmingly for the decision to delist ONLF.

The cabinet also declared the rendering of senior ONLF member Abdikarim Sheikh Muse – better known as Qalbi Dhagah – illegal

Hirmoge said the highest number of ONLF agents was handed over to Ethiopia by the breakaway authorities in Somaliland.

“In Somaliland, 250 members had been arrested, including members of the Central Committee, including Abdullahi Qaji and other members of the group, including Bishara Wacdi Shaqlane, Garjubbi and Halye,” Hirmoge said.

The official also noted that over 100 members of the ONLF were arrested in Djibouti, Puntland and Galmudug.

“Djibouti extradited over 74 members of the ONLF, including a top commander of the group Yussuf Elji, who was extradited in 1996. The Puntland state also deported 30 members of the ONLF, including a member of the executive committee Abdinuur Sooyaan,” the spokesman said.

He added “Galmudug State also transferred 30 members of the ONLF to Ethiopia.”

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