Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsFive kidnapped Wonji Sugar Factory employees killed  in Oromia

Five kidnapped Wonji Sugar Factory employees killed  in Oromia

The victims (from social media)


Five of the six employees of Wonji Sugar factory who had been kidnapped for about two weeks now in the Oromo region of Ethiopia are reportedly killed. 

BBC Amharic reported, published on Friday, said  their bodies were found near the factory in the locality of Cheka.  Three of the victims are reported from Wonji town. They were, on Friday, laid to rest. One is from Adama (Nazret) and one is from Dessie (north Ethiopia) – according to the source.  

The victim from Adama will be laid to rest and the body of the employee from Dessie will be taken to his hometown, the source said. 

Four of the victims have reportedly served in the factory for a long time as tractor operators and one of the victims was recently hired as an electrician. 

The circumstances of one of the employees remain unknown. 

Social media sources identified the victims as Bekele Tiruneh, Teshome Heramo, Ayalew Temesgen, Kamil Abdrahman and Girma Belachew. 

A senior management in the factory spoke to BBC Amharic on condition of anonymity for fear of their safety.  He is cited as saying that the employees were kidnapped about two weeks ago after their night shift work in East Arsi zone – Dodota – near the site of the factory.  It is confirmed that they were kidnapped by armed groups but did not confirm if ransom was asked. Also, the source cited him as saying the factory was not asked for any ransom money.  

However, other local sources indicate that the kidnappers demanded six hundreds thousands Ethiopian birr per person (about US $10,600 in official exchange rate) but the employees were unable to pay that.  

A source from the factory with a management role has said that it is not clear when exactly the employees were killed but they believe they were killed on Thursday night and that the bodies were found in the morning.  

A group that calls itself “Oromo Liberation Army” extensively operates in the region  and has been linked to countless similar kidnappings and killings in the region. About three weeks ago, four monks were taken from Ziquala Monastery – a 12th century Ethiopian Orthodox Church Monastery – and savagely killed by the same group.

The Oromia regional state and Abiy Ahmed’s administration have been making claims that the group is no longer in a position to pose danger to the public. The group is believed to have, as the government itself admitted on different occasions, a support network within the government structure. 


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  1. Such tragic news just breaks my heart on one hand and leaves me seething with anger on the other hand. These innocent employees were brutally murdered by savages. Their ‘crime’ was nothing but trying to make a living at the factory and bring the dough home to their needy families. They might have traveled far away from places of origin to finally found jobs at this facility and never knew the day they bid farewell to their families was the last time they will see them. They may be fathers and now their children are left fatherless and will go hungry. They may have parents who are now left without caretakers in their advanced ages. Such barbaric act makes Attila The Hun a saint. This is what I have been saying about any armed groups be it ‘liberation’ this or that. This barbarism should serve as a harbinger for what will happen to innocent citizens if the hoodlums now wondering aimlessly in the wild succeed in yanking away a territory to call it their personal fiefdom. You do not want me to prove it to you. All you have to do it just look around yourself. Such senseless and savage killings are now news in both Oromia and Amhara regions. Commies went into full steam blasting the binding values that had kept communities together in the 1970’s by dividing the society into two camps: The oppressor and the oppressed. Peaceful, systematic reformation was demonized and overthrow of everything by violent mean was eulogized. When the commies failed in their effort and relegated to abyss of history, they had left behind a large size of monstrous generation who takes the Allah blessed human blood as just another budding red rose. May the victims rest in eternal peace!!!

  2. I am holding the regional government of Oromia partly responsible for murder of these innocent civilians and I will tell you why. I am being told now that the kidnappers were threatening to kill those who they were holding hostages unless they were paid the ransom amount they demanded. The community went into fund raising drive and came up with only half of what the demons were asking. Then while the negotiation was going on, the regional government officials told every one that they had launched a rescue mission. Upon hearing that the savage kidnappers murdered the hostages. I am not surprised by the braggadocio of the officials there because some of them have a history of talking on both sides of their loose lipped mouths. Now they will tell us how they tracked down and ‘wiped out’ the kidnappers. You watch! Isn’t what they have been telling us about the goons that have been wreaking havoc in the western part of the region? For sure that dog don’t hunt!!!


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