-ETHIOPIAN ARMY LOCATES ABDUCTED CHILDREN
-The children are located in south Sudan
-Ethiopian army are keeping surveillance on the location
ETHIOPIAN ARMY LOCATES ABDUCTED CHILDREN
Local media report has it that Ethiopia’s army has surrounded the area in neighbouring South Sudan where it believes more than 100 abducted Ethiopian children are being held.
The children were taken in a cross-border raid in the Gambela region last Friday, in which 208 people died. The government has said members of the Murle community were responsible. Flags have been flying at half-mast in Ethiopia as the country mourns those who were killed.
A government official in Gambela said that the abducted children would soon be rescued, the government-affiliated Fana broadcasting corporate reports.
The AP news agency reports That South Sudan acting Foreign Minister Peter Bashir Gbandi is set to travel to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday to coordinate the mission,
It says that South Sudan does not want Ethiopian troops to go deeper into the country. The area where the children are being held “is full of jungle”, AP quotes Mr Bashir as saying. Ethiopia shares a long border with South Sudan and cross-border raids are not uncommon.
Hours after news of Friday’s attack emerged, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the government had requested permission from South Sudan to enter its territory to pursue the attackers.
The South Sudanese ambassador to Ethiopia also said his country was “cooperating and helping” the Ethiopian army to track down the raiders and rescue the abducted children. Ethiopia’s request to enter South Sudanese territory seems to have been approved quickly.
Before South Sudan’s civil war began in 2013, joint security operations between the two countries were common as communities on both sides of the border were often involved in cattle raids.
The BBC reports that residents of Gambela town held a demonstration on Thursday demanding “justice for what happened” and calling for better security.
A mother whose husband was killed and three of her children abducted by the attackers earlier told the BBC that she had no hope of seeing her children again.
“I don’t know if they were killed during the crossfire,” Chol Malual said. “The fighting was intense and if they survived, they will be probably be killed by the Murles.”
The targets of the raid were members of the Nuer ethnic group who live in both South Sudan and Ethiopia, the AFP news agency reports.
A similar raid occurred in Nigeria in 2014 where over 270 school girls were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group from a government secondary school in Yobe, the capital of Borno, a northern state in Nigeria.
Two years after the mass abduction, the Chibok girls are still not found with the Nigerian Government saying little is known of the location of the girls.