- The whereabouts of the kidnapped students are still a mystery
- Families want answers
- No one has arrested in connection with the kidnapping
- The agony of families continues
- The government kept silence on the situation
One of the factions of the Oromo Libration Front/OLF/ called OLF SHENE has kidnapped 17 Dembidolo University Students since the second week of December 2019. The students were taken from Dembidolo & hauled them away at gunpoint in the western Oromia region of Ethiopia. Of the 18 students abducted, one of them were escaped from her captors & told the local media that they had endured periods of hunger while with SHENE. The militants have repeatedly raped the girls(14 of them out of 17 were women) and beat all those who disagreed with them &/or refused to follow orders including but not limited to cooking & cleaning for insurgents among others.
The government of Ethiopia, which eventually confirmed the abduction of students, has not yet started negotiating for the release of the 17 missing Dembidolo university students who are still being held captive. The Press Secretary of the Prime Minster office, Mr. Nigusu Tilahun told the the public broadcasting Ethiopian National Television that the government has rescued twenty one students from captivity, one month after the students disappeared in Dembidolo, Oromia region of Ethiopia. He also confessed six were remained missing under the hands of the captors. However, the comments made by Nigusu Tilahun has now been widely discredited as it ignored lines of evidence that contradicted its theory of the case as told by the escapee and from government sources including Federal Police and the Ethiopian Militray Spokes Person General Mohamed Tesema. Both goverment officcla rejected the claim made by the Prime minster office’s secretary Mr.Nigusu Tilahun.
As their whereabouts is still a mystery,No one in authority will give a direct answer about the kidnapped students. To make matters worse, their families were subjected to an array of conflicting statements & harassment from the government.Nearly a month after they were abducted & dragged off to a forest hide-out; the abduction of the students sparked national outrage. The disappearance of the Dembidolo University students, who were abducted in the town of Dembidolo, forced a public reckoning, if not a legal one, on the tragedy inflicted by the violence & broken rule of law in the regional state of Oromia.
We are now in an emergency to bring back our young women and men. We are signing an open letter calling for urgent action from the Government of Ethiopia towards the immediate release of the captive students and to apprehend the perpetrators. We are now calling to international human rights groups, government bodies and UN agencies to give the necessary attention to the students who are being dehumanized at the hands of the notorious Oromo militant group. Please sign the petition here http://chng.it/JnHXCDQtC9