An investigative report by a Somali website accused a high ranking Ethiopian officer in Somalia of arm sales to rival factions and collecting bribes from Somali politicians who want come to power.
Waagacusub media described Haile Gebre as “the most corrupt military officer” who became extremely wealthy from huge sums of money that he is getting from opportunistic Somali politicians who want to buy the sympathy of Addis Ababa.
Waagacusub media quote one of officer Gabre’s juniors, who remained anonymous for fear of reprisal as saying that “Gebre was corrupted by Somali politicians and he in turn corrupted Ethiopian senior officials so they would condone his wrongdoing.”
“There was several vehicles that were taken from Somali individuals by intimidation or corruption which were later donated by Gebre to most senior military officials and their family members,” the report alleges.
The report further said Gebre had a business interest in the United Arab Emirates in which he is represented by one of his cousins. It said Gebre’s business would give a better exchange rate of foreign currency to Ethiopians who want to import goods to landlocked Ethiopia.
“Recently large construction equipment owned by Gabre were sent to Ethiopia on duty free from Dubai through port of Djibouti,” the report quoted an Ethiopian businessman based in Djibouti as saying.
“All the materials belonged to Gebre but his name can’t be seen on the manifest,” the source told Waagacusub.
The report further alleges Gebre, also called General Gebre by the Somalis, gets most of the corruption money from Somali politicians who want to use his country’s support in order to come to power. He also gets money from the funds donated by the West to the regional East African body known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD.
The investigative report quoted a famous Mogadishu saying “if you want the power in Somalia first corrupt Gebre and enjoy military and political backing of Ethiopia.”
Ethiopian regime troops in Somalia and their commanders have been accused of corruption and loss of civilian lives since they set their boots on Somali soil in 2006.
The Ethiopian government announced the withdrawal of its troops from several key posts in Somalia due to what it said was lack of financial support from the West, but a considerable number troops are still present operating within and outside the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM.