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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Who is al Jabberi?

HARGEISA, Somalia Sep 4 (Garowe Online) - A Somali politician in the country's northwestern breakaway republic of Somaliland was released Thursday after spending a month in jail, Radio Garowe reported.

Somaliland opposition dismisses govt al Shabaab allegations]

Hersi Haji Ali, who resigned from the Somaliland Election Commission, was released by order from President Dahir Riyale.

Mr. Hersi was not formally charged with any crime, but Somaliland Interior Minister Abdullahi Irro had accused the politician of having "links to al Shabaab," a militant group spearheading an anti-Ethiopia insurgency in south-central Somalia.

Sources in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa said Mr. Hersi's arrest was linked to his opposition to the Somaliland administration's agreement with Saudi Arabian company al Jabberi, which gave the company exclusive rights to export livestock via the Port of Berbera.

The Somaliland Livestock Traders' Union, for which Mr. Hersi was deputy chairman, opposes the al Jabberi deal on grounds it gives a foreign company a "monopoly" in the most important sector of the local economy.

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