ubaland security minister Abdirashid Janan has returned to Somalia, a source has told Muqdisho Post, after a short stint in Nairobi.
But details about his latest maneuvers remain scanty, even as Somalia police intensify crackdown to have him re-arrested over “serious crimes”.
First arrested in August last year at Aden Adde International Airport, with authorities dragging him to Banadir court months later, officials said.
He was born in Gedo, a volatile region near Kenyan border, where he enjoys massive grassroots support. He also enjoys the protection of Jubaland forces, police said.
At Gedo on Tuesday, a source told Muqdisho Post that the politician was ushered in by hundreds of his supporters at Balad-Hawo.
“He arrived at his home town Balad-Hawo this morning. Hundreds celebrated his return across the town for several hours,” the source said in confidence.
It’s not clear which route the minister used from Nairobi to the border town, which is strictly under Jubaland authorities.
Abdirashid arrived in Nairobi on Friday shortly after arriving in Kismayo from Mogadishu by boat, a source had revealed.
While at Nairobi, he received treatment that a city hospital. Also, he met Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe, who had been holed up in Nairobi for several days, the source added.
Upon escaping from detention, residents of Gedo also held peaceful anti-government protests, accusing Mogadishu administration of “mistreating” their “hero”.
‘How he escaped from detention’
Police in Somalia heightened security in various exit points upon his disappearance from detention, with most airports cordoned off.
But the security minister paid a number of soldiers who managed to sneak him out of detention to safety, a source had said.
Even after arriving in Kismayo on Friday, sections of soldiers were accompanying him before he boarded a private jet to Nairobi, officials said.
Months after imprisonment, sources said, Abdirashid’s clansmen negotiated for house detention with President Mohamed Farmajo, after which he escaped.
Abshir Mohamed, Jubaland Chief of Staff said: “our hero has arrived well in Kismayo after months of illegal detention in Mogadishu”.
Somalia requests for Interpol’s help
But even after his latest trip to Gedo, the federal government is relentless to have him re-arrested to face “justice” in Somalia.
The federal government said: “Through Interpol, we issued a request for an international warrant of arrest for wanted fugitive Abdirashid Janan.”
In the statement which was issued after Janan had long left Kenya, Somalia asked Nairobi to “assist with arrest and extradition of the above fugitive over human rights violation.”
Terming him a “grave” danger, Somalia said the Jubaland minister should be extradited to allow due process to be completed.
Police added: “Harboring such dangerous fugitives could jeopardize good relationship Somalia and Kenya have enjoyed.”
Amnesty International’s pressure
Earlier, Amnesty International had issued similar red alerts to Kenya, asking for apprehension and extradition of the embattled minister.
“The Kenyan authorities must immediately arrest and hand him over to the Federal Government of Somalia,” Amnesty International said.
The group added: “Somalia should conduct his trial in a manner that meets international fair trial standards, without any further delays.”
Among others, the powerful minister is accused of inflicting torture and murder on the people of Gedo, who refused to “toe to his political persuasion”.
His escape, Amnesty International says, “has left many victims of his alleged crimes, doubtful as to whether they would ever get justice.”
Madobe’s face in the drama
But the stalemate could reignite fierce political tensions between Mogadishu and Kismayo, given that the minister is an influential figure in Jubaland state.
In fact, his arrest was precipitated by the role he played in securing victory for Ahmed Madobe in last year’s polls, contrary to Mogadishu administration.
President Farmajo has been having a turbulent relationship with Madobe, literally leading to the imposition of embargos to the regional government.
But now with the pressure from FGS and Amnesty International, Madobe could in a serious limbo on his next course of action, to avert possible political quagmire.
Mogadishu is also been to capture the Gedo region, a stronghold of Madobe and Abdirashid, something which complicates the situation further.
It’s alleged that FGS and Ethiopian non-AMISOM troops have in the past seized sections of the region much to the anguish of Jubaland leadership.