By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Families of drivers who were taken hostage at a locality known as Alidoro expressed dismay over the government’s negligence to track down captors and take actions.
The complaints came following the release of the hostages after settling the required ransom money, Voice of America, Amharic service reported.
A hostage who was released after paying half a million birr ransom told VoA that 79 drivers and assistants including him were taken hostage by the armed group which calls itself Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in Alidoro, West Shewa Zone of Oromia Region on 7 June 2023.
A hostage who is from Amanuel Town of Machakel Woreda of East Gojjam Zone in Amhara Regional State said that his life was saved by his father who has been engaged in petty trading. To have his son set free, the father had to get a loan by giving his residential house on collateral. The young hostage expressed concern that if they cannot pay back the loan, his parents will lose their house.
A retired teacher whose son was taken hostage told VoA that he borrowed 900,000 birr from an individual and collected the difference from relatives to pay a ransom of one million birr to get his son released. If the retired teacher does not settle the loan on time, he will be forced to sell his residential house.
“We could not include the comments of senior officials of the government communications Service for failing to get response to the call we had made on their cell phones,” VoA said.
Asked recently about the issue, the international spokesperson of OLA, Oda Terbi, said that his organisation has not done such acts, according to Voice of America.
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