Hargeysa (RBC) The Ethiopian intelligence unit backed by Somaliland security forces have detained a senior commander defected from Al Shabab militants in Somalia, reported RBC Radio.
The operation conducted jointly by Ethiopian intelligence members and the Somaliland counter-terrorism forces targeted at Abdullahi Mohamed Ahmed Arabey, a senior former member of Al Shabab who has defected from Al Shabab and fled to seek refugee at his home region of Somaliland.
The operation took place at Hidh-hidh village near the Widh-Widh district of Togdheer region close to the Ethiopian border.
Arabey is believed to be a senior key figure in the militants ranks and maintained a good relation with Al Shabab’s top commander Ahmed Abdi Godane before a serious infighting broke within the group. Arabey and Godane both hail originally from Somaliland.
Sources said that Arabey fled to his home region after infighting within Al Shabab grew bigger as the group’s powerful commander started assassinating his rivals.
The Ethiopian intelligence took the senior Al Shabab defector and crossed the border back while the forces of the breakaway region were backing them.
Somaliland which is unrecognized region on the north of Somalia maintains warm relations with the neighboring Ethiopia. The region has signed a collective security treaty which allows Ethiopian intelligence to apprehend suspects from inside Somaliland’s administrated regions.