Interim Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has accused the Ethiopian army’s top commander deployed in Somalia of “taking bribes” from local business groups, inside sources tell Garowe Online.
In private talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, President Yusuf said Gen. Gabre has “connections” with insurgents and other anti-government groups, the sources added.
Somalia’s president and the Prime Minister, Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein, are in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where the Ethiopian leader is helping mediate the growing rift between them.
According to Garowe Online sources, President Yusuf called for Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi to “replace” Gen. Gabre with a new commander for troops deployed in southern and central Somalia.
The Ethiopian general was accused of allowing Mogadishu’s Bakara Market traders to establish a private security force, which is independent of the government, the sources in Addis Ababa said.
Further, the Somali President said Gen. Gabre is “responsible” for the Islamist rebels’ ability to gain strongholds in Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions.