Nov 6, 2020 (Thessherald)–An influential political figure, Gatluak Buom Pal, who hails from the Gambella region, has been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Addis Ababa and his whereabouts remain unknown so far, an immediate family member told The South Sudan Herald this morning.
“Until now, we have not been able to trace his whereabouts or his captors nor have we received any information from the government about whether or not they were aware of the incident,” said a family member on Friday.
According to a number of eyewitnesses interviewed on Thursday, Gatluak was forcibly abducted by suspected security personnel who were wearing civilian clothes and masks.
Attempts to contact government officials for comment on the incident were unsuccessful.
Gatluak is a prominent political figure known by many for being outspoken on Ethiopia’s political issues.
Ethiopia, one of the landlocked countries located on the Horn of Africa, has been embroiled for years in political unrest marked by protests, arbitrary detentions and speech suppression.
Ethiopia on the brink of civil war
Currently, Ethiopia is on the verge of descending into an all-out war as the Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed recently ordered the National Defense Forces to attack TPLF forces in the Tigray region.
“The Ethiopian National Defense forces, under the direction of command post, have been ordered to carry out their mission to save the country and the region from spiraling into stability,” said the prime minister’s office in a statement on Wednesday (Nov. 4).
The international community voiced its concern and urged the warring parties to immediately de-escalate the tensions and seek an amicable solution to address the root causes of the country’s internal issues.
“The stability of Ethiopia is important for the entire Horn of Africa region. I call for an immediate de-escalation of tensions and a peaceful resolution to the dispute,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said in a message on Twitter seen on Friday.
Aid agencies have reported that sporadic sounds of shelling could be heard from Aburafi town, near the Tigray-Amhara border this Friday.