President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has spoken out for the first time about the rendition of former ONLF commander, Colonel Abdikarim Musa Qalbi-Dhagah.
Qalbi Dhagah was handed over to Ethiopia on August 28, 2017, following a raid by Somali force on his hotel in Galkayo, central Somalia.
In an interview with BBC to commemorate his first anniversary in office, President Farmajo said that he decision reached by the Somali parliament is final.
“As you know, the parliament which is the top legislative body had a debate on the issue (the extradition of Qalbi-Dhagah) and eventually reached a decision after voting, therefore I think is the final one,” said President Farmajo.
A 15 member parliamentary committee formed in September found the extradition to be illegal and accused Somalia’s intelligence apparatus of acting unilaterally and providing misinformation to facilitate the illegal transfer.
“Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency had provided the government leaders with wrong information and subsequently hid the case of Qalbi Dhagah from the justice department,” reads the report submitted to the House.
However, last week, the former intelligence chief Abdullahi Mohamed Ali ‘Sanbaloolshe’distanced himself from the controversial extradition. According to Sanbaloolshe’s version of events, the decision to extradite Qalbi-Dhagax was made by the federal government exclusively.
“I don’t want to mention names, but the decision to extradite Qalbi-dhagah was made and reached by the government and the Cabinet endorsed the decision,” he said during the interview with VOA Somali.
Prime Minister Khayre’s cabinet had previously supported the extradition saying that the Qalbi-Dhagax was a terrorist and his continued presence in Somalia was a threat to national security.
Despite mounting public pressure of President Farmajo to comment on the Qalbi-Dhagax case, it his first time he is making remarks publicly.