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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Over 100 People Kidnapped in Ethiopia for Ransom


Mon 08 Jul 2024 | 10:46 PM
Israa Farhan

US Ambassador to Ethiopia Ervin Massinga announced on Monday that at least 100 people, including students, were kidnapped last week for ransom in troubled Ethiopian regions.

This incident comes amid sporadic conflicts since the end of the civil war in the Tigray region, as reported by Reuters.

Despite a peace agreement signed in November 2022 that brought some stability to the Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government struggles to ensure security in other areas.

According to the United Nations, over 1,300 people were killed across Ethiopia last year, with the majority of violence occurring in the Amhara and Oromia regions.

Massinga commented on social media platform X, stating, "The recent and recurrent kidnappings in the Oromia and Amhara regions demonstrate how prolonged conflict emboldens criminals and undermines the rule of law." 

He further disclosed that more than 100 students and passengers were abducted last week for ransom.

A student from Debark University, who escaped the kidnapping and hid in a forest, recounted the harrowing experience.

On Wednesday, unidentified armed men stopped three buses about 120 kilometers north of the capital, Addis Ababa, in the Oromia region. "It was terrifying and shocking.

They began beating the passengers with sticks and forcing them off the bus," he told Reuters, requesting anonymity. 

The kidnappers are now demanding families pay up to one million birr (about $17,500) for the release of the hostages.