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Protests held in Nairobi over disappearance of Samson Teklemichael

Teklemichael was abducted in Kileleshwa, three months ago

Family of businessman Samson Teklemichael hold protests in Nairobi, three months after his abduction. Photo by @RoncliffeOdit (TWITTER)

A section of Ethiopian nationals living in Kenya as well as human rights activists have on Monday, February 24 taken to the streets of Nairobi to protest the abduction of businessman Samson Teklemichael.

The family of Ethiopian businessman Samson Tekklemichael has said they believe he was taken by Kenyan security agencies.

His wife Milen Mezgebo said only government agencies would abduct a person in broad daylight in front of a uniformed police officer.

“If those were thugs, the traffic police officers would not have allowed them to take Samson. Secondly, if they were thugs, they would have asked for ransom by now, so this is the government,” Mezgebo said.

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The protests come only weeks after Ethiopian government demanded an explanation surrounding the kidnapping of Teklemichael.

Speaking to Citizen TV on Wednesday, February 2, Ethiopian Ambassador to Nairobi, Meles Alem Tikea, demanded that the law enforcement authorities explain the whereabouts of Teklemichael.

“For the past three months his family, his children are in distress and the bigger Ethiopian community is in distress as well. We want our people to be relieved. On our side, we won’t relent until the whereabouts of our national and citizen Samson is known."

Tikea expressed concerns over the slow progress in the investigation noting that Teklemichael’s family and the Ethiopian government are suffering following his abduction.

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“The investigations has taken longer period. Three months is not short, we are concerned and this concern of the mission of the embassy is shared among Ethiopians from various walks of life who would like to see Samson back with his family and his community,” he added.

Teklemichael is of Tigray origin

The businessman was last spotted on Friday, November 19, after he was picked up by unidentified men and accosted to an awaiting vehicle with videos of the incident being circulated online.

Teklemichael is a businessman in oil and gas business. He deals with oil and gas products in Nairobi and Addis Ababa, his friends said. He is of Tigray origin. It is not clear if this is the reason for his abduction.

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For more than a year, Ethiopia has been engulfed in a civil war that has claimed thousands of lives and put hundreds of thousands at risk of famine.

The 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.

Prime Minister Ahmed has in the past referred to leaders of the TPLF, which dominated the country’s politics for three decades and is resented by many non-Tigrayan Ethiopians, as “cancer” and “weeds.”

Scores of ethnic Tigrayans in the capital and elsewhere have so far been detained, a move which was condemned by Amnesty International.

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