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Five Wonji Sugar Factory workers found dead after two-week hostage ordeal

On 15 March, 2024, the remains of five workers from Wonji Sugar Factory, who endured a harrowing two-week hostage ordeal, were discovered deceased (Photo: Wonji Sugar Factory/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – Five workers of Wonji Sugar Factory, who had been held hostage for a harrowing two weeks, have been found dead.  

An official of the factory, speaking to the BBC on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the bodies of the five workers were found yesterday morning, 15 March, 2024.

Their remains were found outside the factory premises in a rural area known as Khacha.

Identified through the official social media account of the factory, the deceased individuals are Bekele Tirunehi, Teshome Heramo, Yalew Temesgen, Girma Belachew, and Kamil Abdurhaman.

Among them, three hail from the Wonji area, with their funerals reported to have been held yesterday.

The fourth victim came from Adama city, while the body of the fifth individual was sent to his birthplace in Dessie town, Amhara region.

It was disclosed by the factory manager that four of the deceased had served as tractor operators within the factory for an extended period, while the fifth victim had been employed as an electrician for approximately a year.

The factory manager further revealed that the workers had been abducted by an armed group two weeks prior in Dodota district, located in the East Arsi Zone of the Oromia region, where the factory is situated.

Located approximately 110 kilometers from Addis Abeba near Adama city, Wonji Sugar Factory boasts an installed capacity of crushing 6,250 tons of cane daily and producing 174,946 tons of sugar annually.

Established in 1954, Wonji stands as one of the oldest sugar factories in Ethiopia. AS

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