Family of businessman Samson Teklemichael stage protests in Nairobi, three months after his abduction
The family of Ethiopian businessman Samson Tekklemichael said they believe he was abducted by Kenyan security agencies.
His wife Milen Mezgebo said only government agencies abduct a person in broad daylight in front of a uniformed policeman.
“If they were thugs, the traffic police wouldn’t have allowed them to take Samson away. Second, if they were thugs, they would have already demanded ransom, so it’s the government,” said Mezgebo.
The protests come just weeks after the Ethiopian government demanded an explanation for Teklemichael’s kidnapping.
Speaking to Citizen TV on Wednesday February 2, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Nairobi Meles Alem Tikea demanded that law enforcement explain the whereabouts of Teklemichael.
“For three months, his family, his children have been in distress and the larger Ethiopian community is also in distress. We want our people to be relieved. On our side, we will not give in until the whereabouts of our national and citizen Samson are known.”
Tikea expressed concern about the slow progress of the investigation, noting that Teklemichael’s family and the Ethiopian government are suffering following his abduction.
“The investigations took longer. Three months is not short, we are concerned and this concern of the Embassy mission is shared by Ethiopians from various backgrounds who would like to see Samson again with his family and community,” he added.
Teklemichael is of tiger descent
The businessman was last spotted on Friday, November 19, after being picked up by unidentified men and accosted at a waiting vehicle with videos of the incident circulating online.
Teklemichael is an oil and gas businessman. He deals in oil and gas products in Nairobi and Addis Ababa, his friends said. He is of Tigrayan descent. It is not known if this is the reason for his abduction.
For over a year, Ethiopia has been embroiled in a civil war that has killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation.
Fighting between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government forces and rebels led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began as a political power struggle and is now increasingly driven by ethnic rivalries.
In the past, Prime Minister Ahmed has called the leaders of the TPLF, which dominated the country’s politics for three decades and resented by many non-Tigray Ethiopians, a “cancer” and a “weed”.
Dozens of ethnic Tigrayans in the capital and elsewhere have so far been detained, a move which has been condemned by Amnesty International.