March 14, 2007
Five out of thirteen freed
It was wonderful to have some good news to report last night. But there is still no concrete information about where, why, how or by whom the five kidnapped Europeans were freed. And no news of the eight Ethiopians who were with them.
Here is how Addis-based British businessman Gary Campbell described the five freed Europeans when I interviewed him last night:
The five who've been found have lots of Ethiopian friends. They live in Ethiopia. They are all members of the community. I am sure that they are all going to be thinking of the Ethiopians that were with them in captivity.
Every member of the expat community I spoke to last night said they weren't going to forget the eight Ethiopians now the Europeans were back. St Matthew's Anglican Church (near the Ras Amba Hotel) will be hosting a vigil for them later this week.
Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's Prime Minister, two days ago said there were reports that at least one of the missing Ehiopians had voluntarily gone with the kidnapped Europeans out of some sense of solidarity.
Tony Hickey, the owner of Ethiopian Quadrants, the travel company that organised the tour, said two of the missing Ethiopians were his employees. They were in their early 20s, he said, and both orphans of the 1984 'Live Aid' famine.
Here is some more reaction:
Expats in Ethiopia worried about fate of locals
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia's close-knit expatriate community was jubilant on Tuesday at news of the release of five kidnapped Europeans but worried for the fate of eight Ethiopians still being held by armed captors.
"It is absolutely wonderful. I am thrilled. We all felt very moved and close to tears when we heard the news," said the Rev Canon Andrew Proud the chaplain of the Ethiopian capital's only Anglican Church, which held daily prayers for the hostages.
"We will all rejoice about the release of the five Europeans. But at the same time we are not going to forget the others," he added.
Interesting to see The Times quoting "Andrew Heavens, a freelance journalist" about the production of Macbeth directed by Rosanna Moore, one of the freed captives. "“It was an amazing setting. How often do you get to strut around a historic monument, covered in stage blood and waving a sword?” Andrew Heavens said.
Just so you know, that wasn't my heartfelt quote on hearing of the release of the captives. It was a line lifted from this very blog, from the description of the play I wrote three weeks ago, six days before the kidnapping.
Posted by aheavens at March 14, 2007 4:02 AM