Oduu Oromiyaa

Twin Cities businessman released in Ethiopia

Family members say they don’t know why Tashitaa Tufaa was handcuffed at an airport after visiting his ailing mother. 

A Twin Cities businessman detained by authorities in Ethiopia after he visited family there last week was released Monday and is on his way back to Minnesota, his son said.

Tashitaa Tufaa, the Ethiopian-American businessman and founder of Fridley school bus company Metropolitan Transportation Network, was detained at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa and held in the city for three days.

Tufaa’s son, Nuurasuu Tufaa, 20, said he and his four siblings cannot wait to have their father back. They are baffled by his arrest, he said.

“I think we can call it a victory when my dad is back on American soil,” the son said.

The elder Tufaa went to visit his sick mother Dec. 10. He spent about three weeks with her, taking care of her and going to and from the hospital during what could have been her last days, the son said.

“He was supposed to come back to America with one of my uncles who’s also an American citizen, and for some reason, they just detained him. It’s basically like a kidnapping the way my uncle described it,” Nuurasuu Tufaa said. “They just put him in handcuffs, they were very rough with him.”

Authorities threatened to arrest his uncle as well, he said. For 48 hours, his father’s whereabouts were unknown. Nuurasuu Tufaa said that when he was finally able to speak with his father for a moment on the phone, he didn’t really sound like himself.

“My dad has no hand in any politics. He’s just a businessman from America who just wanted to see his mom, so I really don’t know if there was any reason as to why he was arrested,” Nuurasuu Tufaa said.

The offices of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips are in contact with the family and worked with the State Department to bring Tufaa home.

“I’m relieved to see that Tashitaa Tufaa has been released from detainment and is on his way back to the United States. I am eager for him to be reunited with his family here in Minnesota,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

In November, a truce was called in a two-year civil war in Ethiopia. While the Oromo people are the largest ethnic group in the country, they have faced discrimination from the Ethiopian government.

In the Twin Cities, Oromo community members are concerned for Tufaa’s safety and are looking forward to seeing him home with his family, said Bahar Oumer, executive director of Oromo Community of Minnesota, a St. Paul nonprofit.

“There is anger, disappointment because if a person like Tashitaa is detained, nobody would be spared,” Oumer said. “He is a person who is not involved in any organized political activity, just a person minding his business.”

bilisummaa

Recent Posts

Koree raawwachiiftuu ajeechaaf Oromiyatti ramadamte

Koreen dhoksaan ajjeestuu maqaa nageenyaatiin MNO keessatti Mummicha Ministeeraatiin hundaa'ee fi Obbo Shimallis Abdiisaatiin kan…

4 months ago

Iccitii hidhamuu Obboo Battee Urgeessaa

Haabtaamuu Tasfaayetiin: Tibba darbe kana mariin Paartilee siyaasa Oromoo jedhu kan kanaan dura bara cee’uumsaa…

4 months ago

Godina Baalee: galgala ar’aa magaalaan Roobee balaa ibiddaatiin qabeenyi hawaasa bal’aa hedduun barbadaawe.

Galgala sa’aatii 2:00 (8:00) irratti balaan kun naannoo Buufata durii (Aroge-Mannahaaraa) jedhamu,Masjidannuur cinatti suuqii fi…

4 months ago

Gadaan gujii abbaa gadaa 75ffaa argate

Ofii Abbootii Gadaa 74 baallii waliif dabarsaa asiin geessisan beektu? Haala duudhaa isaa eeggateen waggoota…

4 months ago

Oromiyaan ganna shan guutuu waraanan hunkuramaa jiraatuu namuu ni hubata

Ijoollee Wareegamtootaaf Jecha ...  Nagaa Bara ammaa silaa martuu bakka maratti muldhata. Oromiyaan ganna shan…

6 months ago

Abiy Ahmed’s erecting Memorial Statues for genocidists of the Oromo for Menelik II and Haile Selassie

December 10, 2023 Leenjiso Horo    This article addresses the issue of the Oromo failure to…

6 months ago