Mass Protests over Abducted Students

ADDIS ABABA – Demonstrations have taken place across northern Ethiopia about the failure of the authorities to find a group of 27 students abducted 50 days ago.

The students – from the Amhara community – were kidnapped as they fled an outbreak of ethnic violence at Dembi Dolo University in the Oromia region.

It is not clear who is behind the abduction of the students, believed to be mainly young women, but local officials say armed men are active in the area.

Tens of thousands took to the streets on Tuesday across the northern Amhara region, following an intensive social media campaign.

They chanted anti-government slogans, accusing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of not doing enough to secure the students’ release.

It comes more than two weeks after the authorities said they had secured the release of 21 students, but their families say nothing has been heard from them.

Mergeta Yeneh Adugna, the father of one of the abducted girls, told the BBC that he feared for his daughter.

“I’m afraid they have killed them. I wish they tell us the truth if that is the case. It’s affecting our mental health. My wife is already sick because she is worried too much. I wish they tell us the truth, even if they are killed.”


‘ Image caption: Many protesters took to the streets of Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara region [Photo BBC]