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ONLF's Qalbi Dhagah Receives Heroic Welcome In Nairobi
Africa

ONLF's Qalbi Dhagah Receives Heroic Welcome In Nairobi

Freed Ethio-Somali rebel leader Abdikarim Muse Qalbi Dhagah on Wednesday arrived in the Kenya capital Nairobi wheere he was rejoined by his family ten months after he was renditioned to Ethiopia by Somalia government. Hundreds of mostly Ethio- Somalis and Somalia nationals living in Nairobi gathered at the JKIA Airport waving the flags of Ethiopia's region 5 and the Somalia flag. The former ONLF commander was received by Kenya's former Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim and Somalia's opposition MP Ahmed Moalim Fiqi. A motorcade headed to the mostly ethnic Somali district of Nairobi Eastleigh where celebrations of his freedom had been set since afternoon. Qalbi Dhagah was released last Thursday following  an official pardon from the new Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and an early request from Jubbaland President Ahmed Madhoobe in a meeting he held with the Premier on May 6 in Addis Ababa. He is to start a new life in Kenya as part of an agreement in the amnesty offered by Addis Ababa. Qalbi Dhagah was renditioned from Somalia to Ethiopia on August 28 2017  by the Somalia government following an earlier agreement with Addis Ababa that designated the rebel leader as a “terrorist”. Farmaajo administration came under public criticism following the rendition. A Parliament commission appointed to investigate the matter termed the rendition “illegal”. Over two thousand political prisoners have been released since Abiy replaced HaileMariam Desalegn as the Prime Minister in April.