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Breaking: Somali region vice president says possible plot of treason against the region foiled; eleven cabinet members in Addis Abeba for emergency briefing

Addis Abeba, January 25/2019 – Mustafa Omer, Vice President of the Somali regional state, told Addis Standard that the regional government has “foiled a highly dangerous, sophisticated, and well planned attempt to plunge the region into chaos and collapse.”

“A diverse network of anti-reform elements under the direction of ex-TPLF generals have allegedly tried to bring back Abdi Iley loyalists into power,” the vice president said, adding some of the plots the regional state has discovered “may constitute treason.”

Eleven members of the regional state’s cabinet, including Mustafa, have arrived in Addis Abeba this afternoon where they plan to “breif Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, federal security and intelligence officials, as well as officials from the ministry of peace regarding the findings,” according to Mustafa.

On Wednesday January 23, amidst reports of rifts between Ahmed Shide, chairperson of the Somali People’s Democratic Party (SPDP), who is also the federal Finance Minister, and the vice President following allegations of “coordinated efforts” to oust the later, the Somali regional state cabinet removed one of its members and the region’s communication bureau chief Guled Al Ali Kaahin. The cabinet, together with elders from the region, has also called Ahmed Shide, to come to Jigjiga, the region’s capital, for consultations “within two days.” The consultations did not happen, potentially widening rifts between the region’s cabinet and the party’s chairperson.

Today Mustafa went on record to accuse Ahmed Shide that he “may have committed treason.” Asked by Addis Standard to explain, Mustefa said details were “too sensitive but will be included in the briefing with federal authorities.”

In a separate interview he gave on Tuesday this week, Jemal Dirie, legal and human rights advisor of Mustefa Omer, has already accused elements within the federal government, including Ahmed Shide, of attempting to illegally oust the vice president, who assumed the position barely five months ago. AS

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