Ethiopian kidnappers release Sudanese merchants
Three Sudanese merchants who were kidnapped by Ethiopian shifta gunmen on Saturday, have been released after their families reportedly paid a ransom of SDG 3.6 million*. Witnesses from the area told Radio Dabanga that the families handed over the ransom to the kidnappers in the Shaibet area in Sudan, after which the gang released the merchants.
The angry families of the kidnapped merchants tried to enter the Ethiopian town of Matama with edged weapons, but they were persuaded to return.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, on Saturday the Ethiopian gunmen took the three merchants across the border into Ethiopia and torched a motorcycle owned by the merchants.
Hundreds of relatives of the kidnapped men gathered in El Galabat, having travelled from the village of El Mudaradama. Taher El Jamari told Radio Dabanga that the kidnappers initially demanded a ransom equivalent to SDG 5.4 million for the release of those kidnapped. This amount was later reduced to SDG 3 million after negotiations with the kidnappers’ families over the phone. Negotiations between the two parties eventually stalled following a verbal altercation.
* USD 1 = SDG 55 at the time of posting, according to the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the CBoS.
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