Ethiopia's missing students: Families' pain and the unsolved mystery


Mare Abebe, the guardian of Belaynesh Mekonnen who was kidnapped in December

"We are grieving. I can't stop thinking about her. The entire family can't eat," a visibly pained Mare Abebe told the BBC.
She is worried about Belaynesh Mekonnen, a first-year economics student at Ethiopia's Dembi Dolo University, who was kidnapped last December, along with 17 of her colleagues.
As Belaynesh's guardian, Ms. Mare is distraught for the girl, whom she said she had raised despite many challenges.
"We are in pain. She is a good girl, so caring, but now we don't know where she is. We don't know whether she is alive.
"I never thought this could happen to her, even in my dreams," she said, her voice cracking.


On 4 December last year, an unknown group of people blocked a bus and kidnapped students on board who were leaving for home from Dembi Dolo University in western Ethiopia.

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