Abdulrahman Abd Ghani

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Abdulrahman Muhumad Qani
عبد الرحمن عبد الغني
President of the Somali Region
In office
April 1994 – November 1994
Preceded by Hassan Jire Kalinle

Ugaas Abdulrahman Abd Ghani or Abdulrahman Muhumad Qani (Somali: Cabdulraxman Maxamed Ghaani, Arabic: عبد الرحمن عبد الغني‎) is the chieftain of the Talomoge sub-clan of the Ogaden Somali. He is the past President of the Somali Region of Ethiopia (April - November 1994). Ugaas is a title, meaning "chief".

Career[edit]

When he was named President of the Somali Region, Ugaas Abdulrahman was director of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission branch in Gode.[1] He became President of the Somali Region in an inauguration which some critics considered "somewhat irregular".[2] His predecessor, Hassan Jire Kalinle, was removed by the Federal Government in April 1994 on charges of corruption and neglect of official duties, although at least one observer believes the actual reason was due to the Regional Assembly voting to exercise the "right to self-determination" in the 1995 Constitution of Ethiopia.[3]

Although a member of Ogaden clansman, he was supported by the other clans because he was not a member of the ONLF. During his brief tenure, he was seen as a committed enemy of the al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, a now-defunct militant Islamic group based in the Ogaden and parts of Somalia, because he worked closely with the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front during their early operations against the movement.[4] He was deposed by a group within the Regional Executive committee (an action which Ugaas Abdulrahman described as "unconstitutional" and "a coup"), and petitioned the Federal Government to overturn his removal, which denied his request. After his dismissal the Executive Committee, led by Abdulrahman's former deputy, Ahmed Makahil, and supported by the Committee's Executive Secretary, Iid Tahir Farah, assumed administration of the Region until Iid Tahir Farah became President the following year.[2]

In 1995, fighting between the Tolomoge and the Awlihan Somali over land rights in Gode, became so violent that the UNHCR and NGOs found it difficult to hand out food to internally displaced people living in the woreda. To end the fighting, Ugaas Abdulrahman made the decision to move the Awlihan subclan to Bohol Hagere, despite protests by his subclan elders.[5]

In 2005, Ugaas Abdulrahman was one of a dozen elders seeking to arrange peace talks between the Ogaden National Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government. He afterwards left Ethiopia and lived abroad for two years.[6]

Shortly after returning to his home city of Gode in July 2008, Ugaas Abdulrahman was arrested by the Ethiopian government. Over the following days, a further 70 individuals were also arrested. No charges are believed to have been brought against them and no reason given for their detention. Ugaas Abdulrahman was released that October, and his relatives a few days later.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John Markakis, "The Somali in Ethiopia," Review of African Political Economy, 23, No. 70 (Dec., 1996), p. 568
  2. ^ a b "Peace and Unity Conference of the Somali Nation of Region 5", UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, dated 15 November 1994 (accessed 13 May 2009)
  3. ^ "Collective Punishment: War Crimes and crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia's Somali Regional State", Human Rights Watch Report (2008), p. 22
  4. ^ "Report on Mission to Haud Area, Region 5", UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, dated February 1994 (accessed 13 May 2009)
  5. ^ Ayele Gebre-Mariam, The Critical Issue of Land Ownership: Violent Conflict Between Abdalla Tolomogge and Awlihan in Godey Zone, Somali Region of Ethiopia Working Paper No. 2 (Bern: NCCR North-South, 2005), p. 46
  6. ^ a b "Ethiopia: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009", Amnesty International Report AFR 25/004/2009, 13 April 2009 (accessed 13 May 2009)