Rising abductions spark alarm in Ethiopia

The rising abduction of civilians, mostly students, has triggered concern in Ethiopia, with calls for an end to the organized crime.

Incidents of abductions for ransom have been reported from the conflict-hit central Oromia and northern Amhara regions.

Jawar Mohammed, a prominent political figure, took to social media platform X to highlight the issue of kidnapping, affecting not only conflict-hit zones but other areas too, including the capital.

“Armed men belonging to both state and non-state actors abduct civilians and then demand exorbitant sums of money. This organized crime has become a lucrative business,” he said.

Local media reports have been highlighting troubling situations in the Oromia and Amhara regions, including a specific incident where 100 university students were kidnapped by unidentified armed groups in the Gebre Guracha district of Oromia.

The abducted people are being asked to pay ransom in tens of hundreds of dollars.

“Abductions of civilians and students for financial gain must stop. Last week, over 100 students and passengers were abducted for ransom,” the US ambassador to Addis Ababa Ervin Massinga said.

Tensions have escalated across the country, including in the capital, as conflicts between the federal government and rebel groups in the Oromia and Amhara regions intensify.

Recent incidents highlight how “prolonged conflict emboldens criminals and weakens the rule of law,” Massinga said on embassy‚Äôs X account.

Scroll to Top