About two months have passed since the students of Dembi Dolo university kidnapped while fleeing to their homes in the Amhara region. There is no clear explanation of who, where, or why the students were captured. The government remains silent on the issue, causing anger in the community.
The statement of the prime minister’s press secretary on January 26 was the last official notice from the government. In the report, the secretary said that 27 students kidnapped, whereas other reports suggest that the students are 17.
The information being provided by the authorities contradict with reality on the other end. The security officer of the Oromia region said that the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) kidnapped the students. OLA was a wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), but after the arrival of PM Abiy, OLA chooses to remain on an armed struggle in southwestern Ethiopia while OLF decides to become a legal political party.
On the other side, the OLA on its twitter account said that it had not kidnapped the students. “The reality is that local cadres orchestrated the kidnapping in coordination with the local command post committee.”
When it comes to the current status of the students, although the government said it had rescued 21 of them, their parents are saying they have never heard about any one of them.
Social media is exerting pressure on the government. Posts like #BringBackOurStudents and more become viral social media tags. People are questioning the transparency of the government.
Ethiopians in multiple areas held mass demonstrations, requesting the authorities to provide transparent information and implement the rule of law. Families of the students are asking for their status. “Tell us if they are killed,” said a parent on local media. Besides, some officials are saying that they are ‘following up the case closely,’ Abiy Ahmed’s government chose to remain silent.