Radio Erena: 17 February 2015
The father of the two under age children and their 25-year-old aunt, who died last year February 20th, 2014 after they crossed over to Ethiopia, says there are many uncertainties their deaths.
The father – Kibrom Fikrezgi – an Eritrean currently residing in the United States accounts that the trafficker from the Eritrean side had originally informed him of the safe arrival of his 15-year-old-daughter Yordanos Kibrom, his 8-year-old-son Michael Kibrom and his 25-year-old-sister Akberet Fikrezgi to Ethiopia citing an individual by the name of Goitom Berhane Zemhret – an Ethiopian Militia member, who allegedly received them there. However, Fikrezgi added that two months following their arrival on the 20th of April 2014, he had been informed of their death.
Fikrezgi told Radio Erena that after learning of the shocking news of his children’s and his sister’s death, he went to Ethiopia and met with the individual who was said to have first received them from the Ethiopian side and later met with the Ethiopians who reported burying three bodies in a small village called Gobeyzgi in Adi WaEla administration. Fikrezgi, however, pointed out that he found the accounts to be very conflicting.
Fikrezgi said although the villagers told him his kids and sister were eaten by hyenas, he said the supposed “clothing” of the victims the villagers presented him with did not show any trace of biting marks. When asked to visit the burial grounds, Fikrezgi was shown a grave of what seems to be of a skull of an individual under a tree on the top of a mountain after so many exhaustive excuses.
While staying at Gobeyzgi, Fikrezghi said he met with various Ethiopian authorities and a law enforcement authority, who had first broken the news of his family’s death to him – officer Nuguse of Adi WaEla’s administration though none of the meetings were fruitful.
Radio Erena called the Ethiopian Militia member – Goitom Berhane Zemihret who were said to have received Fikrezgi’s two children and his sister and when asked about his knowledge of the victims, he said that he was never involved in receiving the victims when they first arrived in Ethiopia , as reported and that he had learned of their death in the village of Gobeyzgi after an inquiry was filed by Fikrezgi.
Zemihret pointed out that he had explained his findings to the father when he visited the village last and that the father seemed to have been satisfied with his explanation.
Zemihret, who also told Radio Erena that he had never seen the victim’s graves, further noted of the cooperation by police authorities with the father.
Although the case deserved rigorous follow up and investigation, little is know as to why the administration of the village did not inform appropriate authorities on time.
Fikrezgi stated there was unverified and unconfirmed news by an Eritrean diaspora networks regarding the death of his two children and his sister that they were killed by shots fired by the Eritrean boarder securities as they were crossing over the boarder.
Fikrezgi has now returned back to the United States without any verified findings nor any encouraging promises by Ethiopian authorities for further investigations. He pleads with any Eritrean or Ethiopian or any other national with any knowledge of the death of his two kids and sister to please come forward and report to appropriate authorities.