1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Ethiopia

Somali regional state president removed

[Ethiopia] Acting President of Somali regional state, Ethiopia, Abdul Jibril.
Abdul Jibril, acting president of Somali regional state, Ethiopia (IRIN/Anthony Mitchell)

The president of Ethiopia’s Somali region has been removed from office, the new acting head of the state confirmed on Wednesday. Abdul Jibril told IRIN that he had been appointed acting president after his former boss, Abdirashid Dulane, was thrown out of the Somali People's Democratic Party (SPDP) and relieved of the post he had held for three years.

Abdirashid was voted from office during a parliamentary session in the regional capital Jijiga - some 700 kilometres from Addis Ababa - at the beginning of the week. Sources close to the SPDP said that he was not in parliament when the decision was made.

Party officials said they had tried to "accommodate" the former president and provide "safe passage" from office, but claimed he rejected such offers. "He didn’t comply with the party political line and there are a number of other issues raised against him," one senior SPDP official told IRIN.

The former president, who told state media that he was the victim of a concerted campaign, was also accused of being linked to "anti-peace" groups. "He has been talking of resigning but he spoiled everything, so a majority have now voted against him," the SPDP official said.

The SPDP has often been described as wracked by infighting and political disputes. In February 2001 the party sacked 10 members of its central committee for alleged corruption after a mammoth 19-day emergency summit. But another key official within the SPDP dismissed claims that the party was in chaos or paralysed. "Just because the president of the region has been removed does not mean the party is in chaos," the official said.

Somali opposition groups told IRIN they were baffled by the latest developments in the state - one of the most remote and impoverished regions of Ethiopia. "The situation is very confused," Buoh Hussein Omar, vice-chairman of the Somali National Democratic Party, told IRIN.

The Somali National Regional State - also known as Zone Five - is one of the largest regions in Ethiopia. Around 85 percent of its population are nomads.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.