Egyptian army forces free Ethiopians held by ISIS

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi


(Reuters) – A group of Ethiopians who had been kidnapped in Libya arrived at Cairo airport on Thursday after Egyptian army forces rescued them, state media quoted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as saying.

But one Ethiopian in the group, and a Libyan source, appeared to cast doubt on that version of events, saying the men had only been held up by Libyan immigration.

State TV broadcast live footage of Sisi greeting about 30 Ethiopians who had arrived on an Egyptian government plane.

“Sisi announced during a seminar the success of the armed forces in returning the Ethiopian brothers who had been kidnapped in Libya,” state news agency MENA reported.

The state broadcast gave no details of their identity, the manner of their release or circumstances of detention.

Security sources told Reuters that Egyptian intelligence services had provided Libyan authorities with information that helped them free the Ethiopians who had been held by armed groups in the cities of Derna and Misrata.

One of the Ethiopians said they had been held by Libyan immigration authorities.

“The Libyan government came and took us to the anti-illegal immigration body and then the Egyptian government took us from there,” he told reporters at the airport. That account was confirmed by a Libyan official.

A statement from the Egyptian presidency’s office said Sisi had greeted 27 Ethiopian citizens who represented “the first batch of returning Ethiopian brothers from Libya”.

Egypt's Sisi says Ethiopians 'rescued' from Libya

Egypt’s Sisi says Ethiopians ‘rescued’ from Libya

Sisi has repeatedly called for international efforts to combat Islamist militants in Libya, which has descended into chaos since veteran autocrat Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 during the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

The former army chief has portrayed himself as a champion of moderate Islam in a battle against what he calls the global existential threat from groups such as Islamic State, which seized large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

Last month, a video purportedly made by Islamic State appeared to show militants shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopians in Libya.

Militants professing loyalty to Islamic State have claimed several high-profile attacks on foreigners in Libya this year, including the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February.

The killing of the Egyptians prompted Sisi to order air strikes on Islamic State targets in OPEC oil-producer Libya.

Libya’s mayhem has complicated Sisi’s efforts to combat hardline Islamist groups at home, including pro-Islamic State militants based in the Sinai.

“What happens in Libya is a concern for all of us, and we are saying to the world that Libya should return a safe and stable country for its people and even to its visitors,” Sisi told reporters at the airport.

(Additional reporting by Omar Fahmy and Ulf Laessing; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Posted by on May 7, 2015. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to Egyptian army forces free Ethiopians held by ISIS

  1. Namaga

    May 7, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    They have been brainwashed by Britain and US that the world is their second country, that they hold the key to the world in the pillows of their beds, their key to the world is them by being man, their key to the world is by upholding their Christianity, and therefore Ethiopians are international citizens without borders.

    So true that the US began granting special visa to Ethiopians called Diversity Visa. More than 60% of the beneficiaries of this ‘favored’ immigration visa are Ethiopians, especially from Amara, Tigray and Oromo. Yoruba tribal people of Nigeria’s are second beneficiaries. Followed by Tutsis.

    Europe also opened its doors to Ethiopian exodus. More a million Ethiopians are accepted as asylum seekers throughout Western Europe.

    They write back to their families and friends about the plentifulness of life, modernity of the life style, freedoms of individuals and groups and businesses. The successes of some individuals in business, in academics, politics such as Ginbot7 and media such as ESAT have been the envy of those who are inspired by such successes to take risk and travel in north African deserts and risk the perilous journey on human trafficker boats of the Libyans entrepreneurs.

  2. Namaga

    May 7, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    In one of his series of boring and lengthy articles, in 2013 If I remember correctly, reaganite Prof.Almariam, co-founder of ESAT, detailed how Amara is thriving in his ‘greatest country’ of the USA. It’s writers like him who encourage Ethiopian exodus to dangerous journyes through deserts on camel backs and seas on unsafe boats just to embarrass the TPLF government.

  3. Debela

    May 7, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    Nothing more than political game.

  4. ተናገር ዕዉነቱ

    May 8, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    ወገኖቻችን ከአደጋ አና ክችግር መዉጣታቸዉ በጣም ደስ ያስኛል:: የግብጽንም መንግሥት ልናመስግን እንገደዳለን::

    በአንፃሩ አድራጎቱ ለክፍተኛ የፖለቲካ ፍጆታ እንደዋለና እንድሚዉል ቅንጣት አንጠራጠር:: ይህ ሊሆን ይቻለዉ: ብኸራዊ ጥቅማችንና ክብራችንን የሚያስጠብቅልን መንግሥት በኢትዮጵያ ስለለለ ነዉ::

  5. Gobena

    May 8, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    This is a political game. Hope you will discover it shortly. They want to tell us that Egypt is the savior of Ethiopians. Hell no, we have seen so many political theaters. Woyane and Egypt are trying to exploit the current sad situation.

  6. ታዛቢ

    May 14, 2015 at 6:59 PM

    በእውነቱ ከሆነ ፐረዘዳንት ኣልሲሲ በታም የሚመሰገኑ የ እጀይፕት መሪ ናችው. ሖደ ሰፊ እና ሰብዓዊ መሪ መሆናችዉን ያስገነዝበናል. ኣለዚያማ እትዮፒአዊያነን እስከ ካይሮ ድረስ እንዲያመቱ ማን አስገደዳችው.