Mahlet Fasil

Addis Abeba, January 28/2020 – For the first time since news of the kidnapping of 17 Dembi Dollo university students in western Oromia surfaced, the university’s president Dr. Leta Tesfaye is quoted by Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) as saying that 12 of the 17 kidnapped students are from the university campus. According to the report, Dr Tesfaye said that the university has confirmed 12 of the names from the students list of the campus. The report says nothing about the names of the remaining individuals.

This was disclosed at a meeting which took place at Dembi Dollo university yesterday. The meeting was also attended by the minister of peace Muferiat Kamil, federal police commission commissioner Endeshaw Tasew and press secretariat of the office of PM Abiy Ahmed Negussu Tilahun as well as representatives of from the federal army and intelligence apparatus. Participants of the discussion have also raised concerns that similar kidnappings have targeted business people and other civilians in the area.

“A senior investigation unit is established to investigate and establish the facts on the identities of the kidnappers, the reason behind the kidnapping, as well as how and why they were kidnapped,” Commissioner Endeshaw is quoted as saying.

Negussu Tilahun is also quoted as saying that his January 11 statement of the rescue of 21 students (13 female and eight male students) who he said were rescued following negotiations with the kidnappers is correct. “When we disclosed the rescue of 21 students, the number of the kidnapped was higher. We are playing number game on this matter; we released the number of individuals who were kidnapped and were rescued. We re working not just as a government body but as families of the kidnapped,” AMMA quoted Negussu. “The statement we gave was correct; 21 students were released and we are diligently working to secure the release of the remaining.”

AMMA also said the investigation unit was being overseen by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen.

Meanwhile, massive protest rallies were conducted today in multiple cities and towns across the Amhara regional state. Hundreds of thousands who went out to voice their protests have carried posters denouncing the kidnapping and demanding answers from the federal and regional governments, among others. AS

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Editor’s note: This news is compiled based on the story published on AMMA. Below is the full screenshot of the news.

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