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HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopia : Over 100 university students from Amhara region kidnapped in Oromia 

Ethiopia : Over 100 university students from Amhara region kidnapped in Oromia 

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Place near Gohatsion, Oromia region of Ethiopia. (Photo : SM/file)

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Toronto – Gunmen in the Oromia region of Ethiopia seem to continue to kidnap passengers from the Amhara region of Ethiopia. This time, they reportedly kidnapped three bus passengers who were traveling from Amhara region to Addis Ababa. 

BBC Amharic news report, published on Friday, said over 100 students – mostly from Debark University – were kidnapped by the gunmen. It happened on Wednesday at about 155 kilometers away to the capital Addis Ababa in Gerbe Guracha zone, near GohaTsion town. 

According to the source,  two of the buses are from Debark and one of the buses is from Bahir Dar.

A fourth year university student whose name is undisclosed and who is said to have managed to escape is quoted as saying “From the front, they pointed a gun and were armed with sniper and Klash [AK 47]. They stopped us and deboarded us, beat us with a club, and took us to the jungle.” 

There were five other students who managed to escape. They described the situation as “horrifying.”  They described the gunmen as “Shene” – members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). 

They say they managed to find themselves in a house in a village near the jungle and slept in there – the kidnappers did not see them. The kidnappers were three busses of passengers to the jungle, based on the narrative from those who managed to escape. 

Another female student says about 56 passengers from all the three buses managed  to escape. 

In addition to students, there were also mothers with their kids. 

Government forces – Defense Force, Militia and the region’s special forces – arrived on the scene after the kidnappers took the passenger about five kilometers from where they were kidnapped outside of Gohatsion. 

The kidnappers have reportedly asked for a huge ransom.  A person who said that his sister was kidnapped said that they asked 700,000 Ethiopian birr.  His sister has called about three times since she was arrested and she said the kidnappers told her that she will be killed if she is not paying the amount they are asking. 

The source said that it reached out to Debark University but the latter declined to release any information. All it has said is that they have reported it to the relevant Federal government authorities. 

The Federal government has not remarked about it at this writing. 

The radical ethnic Oromo militant group – Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) – widely operates in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

The massive kidnapping happened at a time when the Oromia regional government and the Federal government claimed “peace is restored” in the Wollega area – where the OLA forces were dominating. As it turns out, just 155 kilometers from the capital Addis Ababa – three passengers are kidnapped in a daylight. 

The OLA group is said to have strong clandestine support from within the region’s government structure – including from the security apparatus. 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. These reoccurring TRAGEDIES need to STOP now!! Yesterday!! Total barbarism!! University students, boys and girls in the hands of the most coward, subhuman, ignorant and bloodthirsty, power hungry killers. I do not want to imagine this! My prayers to the families of the kidnapped may God help them receive each one of them soon. Please God..
    By the way, to all the big bosses out there, where are our girls, where are they, years have passed???

  2. Don’t you dare call the kidnappers of these innocent citizens as Oromos or a ‘liberation’ army. This is nothing but terrorism in every which way you look at it. Oromos are not kidnappers and never been one. They were victims of kidnappers themselves. These are run-of-the-mill thugs. Their behavior was/is barbaric. Oromos are kind people. Just look at what they have done for those few who were lucky to escape. They were able to hide inside the homes of Oromo peasants until the savage kidnappers had completely gone away. The acts of those very kind Oromo peasants is what describes us Oromos. So stop calling these savage kidnappers ‘Oromo radicals’. It will not help further the accord. It will make the work of those of us who have been working very hard to bring people from various ethnic backgrounds to come together. Just stop it.

    • It is clear OLF-OLA doesn’t do this kind of things as they needed the support of the people. It rather is the work of Abiy who created his own Oromo Shene to confuse with OLF-OLA and create division between Oromos and among Oromo and Amhara. I suppose by this time most Ethiopians understand who Abiy is-A blood thirsty coward.

  3. These few select kidnappers must be held accountable for their own heinous criminal conduct, which was driven by personal reasons to get ransom. It is critical not to make sweeping generalizations about the entire Oromo population, or even any other group operating within Oromia or Amhara, based on the actions of a few individuals by simply referring to previous similar actions with no credible link to these recent obnoxious actions. This propaganda will not help parents or those beloved extended family members. You should stop politicizing and monetizing the agony of every parent to mold and squeeze it so that it fits your own agenda.

    Without credible and unquestionable evidence linking this horrendous incident to any other single group, let us focus on holding those individuals who banded together with the intent of demanding a hefty ransom accountable for their crimes rather than blaming the OLA, the innocent people of Oromia, or any other organization for the actions of a few selected criminals seeking ransom. Our prayers to the families of the kidnapped may Almighty God help them receive each one of them soo.. Amen!!!!!!!

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