The Fiji TimesBack In Historical past : 4 evade battle

Battle disrupts the normalcy of life for hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the world. Hundreds of educated folks have been tortured and killed by Ethiopia’s navy regime claimed Ethiopian college students who got here to review on the College of the South Pacific. Their story was printed in The Fiji Instances on March 5, 1981.

They have been; Haile Semaw, 24, Abebe Jimma, 27, Motuma Tilahum, 24, and Kahasay Abraha, 23. They arrived underneath the Geneva-based World College Service scholarship scheme.

Mr Jimma, who took a three-year social science course, stated the navy regime got here into energy in Ethiopia after it overthrew Emperor Haile Selasse seven years earlier than.

It was past creativeness to explain the occasions of the navy takeover.

“It’s also believed,” Mr Jimma stated, “that 17,000 Cuban troopers and 3000 Soviet advisers are presently in Ethiopia backing up the navy regime.”

He stated literate Ethiopians have been frequently harassed. Hundreds have been being killed, tortured or imprisoned.

He stated the torture and assassination of educated folks have been extensively condemned by Amnesty Worldwide.

“Hundreds of individuals fled to the borders of the nation, leaving their households behind to outlive.”

Ethiopia is bordered by the Pink Sea within the north, Djibouti and Somalia on the east, Kenya on the south, and Sudan on the west.

Mr Jimma stated Djibouti and Kenya had supplied political asylum to hundreds who have been fortunate to make it there.

He himself had escaped to Kenya in 1978 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital metropolis.

He was a scholar on the College of Addis Abba which was then managed by the navy.

Mr Jimma didn’t encounter any issues because the journey to the Kenyan border took solely a day, the place he reported to United Nations officers who supplied a subsistence allowance till he discovered a job as a schoolteacher. Mr Tilahum, who additionally sought asylum in Kenya, was an arts scholar on the identical college.

He stated he needed to “tough it a bit” and trek by means of the bushes to keep away from navy checkpoints on the borders of various states in Ethiopia.

He didn’t have a job in Kenya and lived with Ethiopian associates.

For Mr Semaw and Mr Abraha, it was a tricky expertise making it to the Djibouti border from Addis Ababa, 1200km away.

Mr Abraha, from the town of Asmura within the east, had escaped in early 1978.

He needed to stroll 5 days, crossing rivers and a desert earlier than reaching the border.

Many individuals perished within the desert from exhaustion, and lack of meals and water, he stated.

Mr Semaw, who escaped in 1977, stated he and his associates needed to conceal within the bush in the course of the day and journey at night time to keep away from authorities spies.

“The journey was robust with lack of meals and water,”he stated.

Each Mr Semaw and Mr Abraha have been transported to the town of Djibouti the place they lived for 3 years with associates earlier than going to Nairobi in Kenya. There they met one another for the primary time early this yr.

The scholars stated there have been hundreds of Ethiopians in universities everywhere in the world sponsored by World College Service and different related worldwide our bodies.

The 4 determined to attend the USP as a result of they have been impressed by the knowledge they learn in brochures and from Pacific Islanders who had attended it.

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