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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Brokenhearted Ethiopians Await Remains of Citizens Beheaded by Isis


Muluneh Gebre

Fri, 04 Jan 2019 14:26 GMT

Brokenhearted Ethiopians whose sons were beheaded by Isis in Libya in April 2015 are impatiently awaiting the return to Ethiopia of their sons’ remains after media outlets broke the news last week that their mass grave had been uncovered near Sirte.

In an interview with 7Dnews in Addis Ababa on January 3rd, grief stricken Akeza Kahshay, mother of Iyassu Yekunuamelak, one of 28 Ethiopians killed by Isis on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, said she feels deep sorrow all the time when she thinks of her son. Sobbing as she talks about the loss of her son, Akeza said she has been suffering from a stomach ulcer since she learned of Iyassu’s assassination.

One of her legs is paralysed and most of the time she has to stay in bed. “I want to see my son’s remains so that I can admit Iyassu is dead,” said Akeza, deeply depressed. Akeza said she badly needs support from the government, charity organisations or people interested in helping her get the necessary treatment in hospital.

Akeza Kahshay is the mother of three boys and a girl. Her daughter died five years ago and Iyassu was killed by Isis militants three years ago. She lives with one of her sons in a house provided by the current administration led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to whom she is very grateful. 

Iyassu’s bother Tewodros Yekunoamlak told 7Dnews that he suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke after he heard of his brother’s death. “It was a difficult time in my life to accept the death of Iyassu” said Tewodros, who is a civil engineer by profession. “After I had undergone a scan, a doctor told me that I was ill with a hemorrhagic stroke which forced me to stay at home, becoming another burden for my mother,” he said. “I can’t wait until the remains of my brothers and his friends come home from Libya,” Tewodros added.

Taha Hadid, spokesperson for the Sirte protection force, reportedly said last week that the bodies will be repatriated to Ethiopia once the national and international legal procedures are completed.