Dembi Dollo Abduction: Parents say they haven’t heard from their daughters

Conditions of allegedly rescued Dembi Dollo University students unclear as parents say they have not heard from their daughters and sons. Oromo regional state of Ethiopia says their situation is alright.

Dembi Dollo University _ girls abduction
Google map of Dembi Dollo University.

borkena
January 13, 2020

Two days after the Ethiopian government announced that it has rescued 21 abducted Dembi Dollo University students (13 of them female), parents are speaking out that they have not yet heard from their children.

On Saturday, January 11, 2020, the Press Secretariat in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nigussu Tilahun appeared in State Media claiming that the government has managed to resume 21 students and that it is working to rescue six other Dembi Dollo University students.

They are believed to have been abducted sometime in late November as they were returning home following closure of the university due to a security crisis at Demi Dollo University in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

Parents of the students who are allegedly rescued told VOA Amharic on Monday that they did not get a phone call or any other evidence that proves they are indeed rescued.

Oromo region administration and security office deputy head, Colonel Abebe Geresu, claims that students allegedly rescued a few days ago are in the hands of authorities in the region.  He confirmed that they were detained by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) military wing which is known as Shane.

It is unclear as to why the government authorities decided not to allow the students to reunite their parents after more than one month of detention in the hands of gunmen in the forest. Colonel Geresu is equivocal about the situation of students. He told VOA Amharic that the students are alright but again the painted the psychological torture that they could go through. He said you could imagine what they could do to them.

According to VOA Amharic, the students spoke to their parents only when they were in hostage. They communicated with their parents using the cellular phones the gunmen who reportedly stated that their abduction does not have a financial motive but that it is meant to influence government policy – specifically they want the government to return ethnic Oromo students from Amhara region and elsewhere to Oromo region of Ethiopia. 

Parents told VOA Amharic that they tried to contact government authorities but they were told to wait patiently.

The students were abducted as they were traveling from Dembi Dollo to Gambella in a place called Sud. Armed men told them to alight from the bus and took them to the forest

Their abduction was, however, made public after a month. 

The Federal government responded to it just a day after National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) issued a statement last week accusing the government of negligence in connection with the abduction.



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