According to reports, Ethiopia forces yesterday evening arrested two suspected Al-Shabaab militants who took part in the recent attacks on Safaricom masts. The suspects were detained while crossing to Suftu Ethiopia through restricted side of River dawa near Mandera Town.
One of the suspects Yussuf Mohamed Hussien Abdi is allegedly an Ethiopian National Defence Forces deserter since year 2008, who is said to have been arrested same year at the border of Ethiopia and Sudan but got released later as soon as the current Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over the reins of power.
The suspect, Yussuf, admitted to have worked for Al-Shabaab for eight years now after being forcefully recruited near Banisa. Both suspects confessed to have taken part in the destruction of Safaricom masts at Derkale in Banisa Sub County, Mandera County on 13th January 2021.
Yussuf, who is a widower and whose three children live with his mother in Moyale Ethiopia also admitted to have been part of the group which ambushed a Moyale Raha Bus between villages of Derkale & Burashum on 11th January 2021. He also witnessed his team burning land cruiser on on the same date but denied taking part in the attacks, saying he only witnessed.
The suspect revealed the group in Banisa were about 40 in number and is led by Hassan Ibrahim Shiekh Hassan of Degodia Jibrael.
After witnessing the destruction of Safaricom mast in Derkale, Yussuf left Banisa immediately using a matatu which led to his capture while attempting to cross over to Ethiopia through Sufu near Mandera.
The second suspect was arrested near Eymole bordering Ethiopia. He revealed the names of all the Shiekhs who disguised as Duksi teachers in Gesrebki, Chabi and Qorobo Abero villages of located towards Kiliweheri town. The suspect added that they were total of four “Shiekhs” in number, from Gurreh clan.
It is believed that the suspected attackers crossed to Kenya from Ethiopia through Malkamari crossing point in Banisa sub county Mandera County. The suspects will be handed over to Kenyan authorities once Ethiopian security is through with interrogation.