ESAT News (February 14, 2017)
The Somali Diaspora began a petition campaign demanding the newly minted President to declare an Ethiopian political fixer in Somalia persona non grata.
An investigative report by a Somali website accused a high ranking Ethiopian officer in Somalia of arm sales to rival factions and collecting bribes from Somali politicians who want come to power.
Waagacusub media described Haile Gebre, who is accused of being close to the brutal TPLF regime, as “the most corrupt military officer” who became extremely wealthy from huge sums of money that he is getting from opportunistic Somali politicians who want to buy the sympathy of Addis Ababa.
“We, the Somali public, are here to tell Gen. Gabre that he is not welcome in Somalia, and thus, it is time for him to leave Somalia. We want the government of Somalia to support our call and designate him persona of non grata,” demanded the petition started by Shire Salaad of Minneapolis and signed by over 1100 at the time of this report.
The petition accused that “Gen. Gabre Heard is responsible for the indiscriminate shelling of Mogadishu during the Ethiopian invasion of the city and use of chemical weapons including White Phosphorus, which the Geneva Convention bans. The use of White Phosphorus was reported by the world media citing the United Nations report, victims, and other sources.”
The petition accuses the Ethiopian officer of engaging in “vote buying scheme to influence the politics of Somalia undermining the integrity of Somalia’s public institutions and responsible for the killing of some of Somalia’s leading intellectuals, politicians, and civil society.”
The petition alleges Gebre has engaged in activities that are contrary and beyond his IGAD role purview and espionage at the behest of the Ethiopian regime.
Ethiopian regime troops in Somalia and their commanders have been accused of corruption and loss of civilian lives since they set their foot on Somali soil in 2006.
The Ethiopian government announced the withdrawal of its troops from several key posts in Somalia due to what it said was lack of financial support from the West, but a considerable number of troops are still present operating within and outside the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM.