By By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Ethiopian Transport Employers Federation disclosed that 15 drivers who were traveling from Awash to Welenchiti Town in Oromia Regional State were kidnapped last Tuesday and five were released a little while after, sources said.
Ethiopian Insider reported quoting the Minister of Transport and Logistic that Security Forces have been in operation to set free the rest of the drivers who are still in the hands of the unknown kidnappers.
President of Ethiopian Transport Employers Federation, Birhane Zeru told Ethiopian Insider that unknown gunmen kidnapped the drivers last Tuesday, 04 April 2023, near Welenchiti Town in Boset Woreda, East Shewa Zone of Oromia Regional State. Birhane said that the kidnapped drivers were transporting fertilizers and sugar while crossing over to Welenchiti Town, 117 kilometers from the capital, Addis Ababa. The armed kidnappers ransacked certain freights, according to Birhane.
The president said that the drivers were taken to an unidentified location and the trucks were left behind at the spot where the kidnapping drama was performed. Coordinator of the Ethiopian Heavy Duty Truck Drivers Association, Abdurahim Mohammed confirmed to Ethiopian Insider about the kidnapping of the drivers and further said that the trucks were taken by owners safely out of the site.
Abdurahim said that the truck proprietors have taken their property by showing ownership certificates. President of the Ethiopian Transport Employers Federation, Birhane said that five of the kidnapped drivers belonged to Gada Transport Logistic Association, a state development agency of Oromia Region. These drivers were released a while after for unknown conditions, according to Birhane.
Birhane further said that the Transport Employers Federation requested the Ministry of Transport and Logistic to find a solution regarding the issue of the kidnapped drivers. State Minister of Transport and Logistic, Dengie Borru, told Ethiopian Insider that his ministry has already been informed about the issue of the drivers and discussion was underway with the leaders of the Federation. The state minister said that an operation has been launched by security forces in the area and the government is following the issue.
The Ethiopian Insider said that previously similar kidnapping incidents occurred repeatedly by unidentified gunmen in the East Shewa Zone of Oromia region. Previously innocent people were reportedly killed in attacks perpetrated by gunmen in Metehara Town and the environs, which is located in the same Zone.
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