#BringBackOurGirls Movement Resurfaces In Ethiopia As Several Kidnapped University Students Remain Missing
Thousands took to the streets on Tuesday to demand government action.
January 29, 2020 at 9:43 pm
Thousands of people in Ethiopia joined in protest Tuesday, demanding that the government bring back students who were kidnapped almost two months ago.
According to France24, 27 students were kidnapped, and most of them are women. Although some have been released, there are still some missing.
The students were kidnapped from a bus at Dembi Dolo University in western Ethiopia, but there's no information on who took them. According to OkayAfrica, there have been conflicting reports about the exact number of missing students. While the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia reported 18 students were abducted, the press secretary for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said 21 students were kidnapped and six remain missing.
"Details of the incident have been few and far between," journalist Aaron Maasho told France24. "What we know so far is that a bus carrying students was attacked and students who were being transported outside of the university were kidnapped by unknown assailants. This took place some time on December 17."
Maasho said the government didn't give much detail beyond saying its "operation to have them released is still ongoing."
"Students are missing. The government is not taking action," tweeted Hiwot Teshome. "There is no information about them. Protection is the priority & basic expectation that the government MUST deliver.#BringBackOurGirls#BringBackOurStudents."
Students are missing. The government is not taking action. There is no information about them. Protection is the priority & basic expectation that the government MUST deliver.#BringBackOurGirls #BringBackOurStudents pic.twitter.com/lpA2nA1xfB— Hiwot Teshome (@HiwotTeshome) January 25, 2020
Yeneneh Adugna, who lives in the city of Gondar, told The Associated Press that she has been living in anguish since her daughter went missing.
"We are crying every day," she said. "We want to know whether they are alive or dead. No one is giving us any information.”
No one has claimed responsibility for the abductions, but some officials in the Oromia region are blaming the Oromo Liberation Army, reports OkayAfrica.
Maasho said the abduction hasn't gotten as much attention as the 2014 incident in Nigeria when dozens of girls were kidnapped.
"Part of the reason why it hasn't gotten as much attention as the Chibok girls in Nigeria is because of the government's silence," Maasho said.
The journalist added that the area from which the students were kidnapped is an area of conflict.
"The government is waging an operation against a ... rebel group," Maasho said. "The area itself is corded off. The internet has been shut down. The phone lines aren't working."