Ethiopian troops helping Somali government forces in the country’s southern regions have arrested three Somali regional governors as well as army officials, a government official confirmed Tuesday.
Mohamed Nur Abdi, a Somali official in the southwestern Gedo region, told reporters that Ethiopian troops arrested Bay regional governor Abdifitah Mahmoud Gesey, Bakool governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamed and the governor of Gedo region, Mohamed Abdi Kalil.
Abdi said that other people including army officials from the southern Lower Jubba region were also detained by the Ethiopian troops. “The Ethiopian troops made the arrests in the city of Dolow along the border with Ethiopia for the past several hours,” the official said.
“For the past several days there have been a growing misunderstanding between Somali officials who are leading the combat operations against Al-Shabaab militants and that led the Ethiopian forces to intervene and arrest some officials,” he told reporters.
“Speculations say that the arrested regional governors will be transferred to Somali government authorities in Mogadishu,” he said.
The transitional federal government has not yet commented on the arrests.
The terrorists seized most of the country in the aftermath of the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the country in January 2009. The Ethiopians helped the Somali government to relocate to the capital and spread its control through the south central regions in December 2006.