Hijacker’s brother speaks out

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - This week the hijacking of an Ethiopian Airlines plane, flight number ET-702, and the first officer behind the hijacking, Hailemedhin Abera, have dominated the news.

Dr. Endalamw Abera (Photo; Theh Reporter)
Dr. Endalamw Abera (Photo; Theh Reporter)

After it was revealed the mainstream and social media have been speculating as to why he did it. Reasons include doubts about his mental health up to resilience against injustice and oppression. Some compared him with the former Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) leader, Berhanemeskel Redda, who hijacked an airplane, while others said that he was a troubled individual. Family members have responded on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, that their brother is a good man and not a criminal. Regarding these speculations and other pertinent issues, Tibebeselassie Tigabu of The Reporter spoke with Endalamaw Abera (MD), the oldest brother of Hailemedhin. Excerpts:

The Reporter:  When did you last see Haillemedhin?

Dr. Endalamaw: I saw him at my uncle’s, Emiru Seyoum, funeral on January 4.  He passed away that day. We actually went together. I came from Sudan, Khartoum

There has been speculation about his death, and it has been said that it was directly related to the hijacking?

He died of a cardiac condition. He was being treated at the Addis Cardiac Hospital. The incident happened while he was in a taxi. His house is located around Bole in the apartments behind Heber Restaurant. On that day he walked to Dembel area and took a taxi after that.

Around Gibi Gabriel church he passed away while he was in a taxi. All the passengers were taken to be investigated by the police. Looking at his body there was no strangling or that type of symptom, and there was no detection or physical sign that it was a homicide. So we actually signed and took his body. Now after the hijacking rumors have been going on in the town that his death was a mystery. They say it was unrevealed and some try to make it a conspiracy theory out of it. We believe it was a natural death. He suffered from high blood pressure and also had cardiac problems.

Read more at: The Reporter


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