Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Ethiopia 'blocking release of hostages'

10 February 2012, 09:22

Addis Ababa - Ethiopian rebels blamed Addis Ababa for "stifling" the release of two German tourists kidnapped in a gun fight three weeks ago, accusing government troops of attacks in Ethiopia's Afar region.

The Ethiopian government is "stifling every step of our efforts to get the two Germans to safe area... by launching a fresh attack against us", the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) said in a statement late Wednesday.

Two Germans were seized in the bloody attack on the slopes of the famed Erta Ale volcano which left at least five people dead, including two Germans, two Austrians and one Hungarian.

Last month, ARDUF rebels said they were holding the missing Germans and supported their safe release, but warned that "any military engagement with ARDUF would... endanger the lives of the two German citizens."

On Wednesday, the rebel group said if the kidnapped tourists were killed in the violence, the Ethiopian government would be responsible for their deaths.

It claimed there had been repeated clashes between Ethiopian forces and ARDUF rebels since the January 18 attack.

Low-level insurgency

"If these two remaining German [nationals] are killed in the fighting, Ethiopian regime will bear... responsibility for the killing," ARDUF said, adding it wanted to release the tourists over to tribal elders.

"ARDUF will do its best to release the two German citizens unconditionally, as soon as the Afar elders arrive to the designated area to receive them," the statement added.

Ethiopia has blamed arch-rival Eritrea for backing the ARDYUF rebels and claim the missing tourists are being held across the border in remote desert areas of Eritrea - claims Asmara have fiercely denied.

ARDUF has been fighting a low-level insurgency in the northern region near the tense Eritrean border to end what it says is "political marginalisation and economic deprivation" by Addis Ababa. The group claims to have no links to Eritrea.

In 2007, ARDUF rebels seized five European tourists and eight Ethiopians. The Europeans were released after 12 days to the Eritrean government, while the Ethiopians were freed almost two months later.

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
Where is my letter? Kaindi asks

Deposed Deputy Inspector General of Police Grace Kaindi says she does not have a letter saying she has been sacked and insists that she is still in office. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Jubilee MPs set for Ruto ICC pray...

Jubilee MPs will hold prayers for Deputy President William Ruto, who is trying to get away from the International Criminal Court ICC case. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Activist Boniface Mwangi detained...

Activist Boniface Mwangi has been detained in Paris with his family.  Read more...

Submitted by
Manasseh
Police thwart robbery at a fuel s...

Police in Murang’a are looking for four armed robbers who tried to rob a petrol station in Maragua town on Thursday night. Read more...

Submitted by
Manasseh
Two injured in Makuyu morning acc...

Two people have been injured after the matatu they were traveling in collided with a bus at Makuyu area along Sagana-Nairobi road. Read more...

Submitted by
Geoffrey Kimagut
FIDA faults Uhuru for removing Ka...

The Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) has lambasted the President for removing Grace Kaindi from the position of Deputy Inspector of Police on Tuesday. Read more...