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Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing From Oregon Track Meet

Alemitu Heroye and Alemitu Hawi of Ethiopia cross the finish line to finish first and second respectively in the women’s 5000m during day two of the IAAF World Junior Championships at Hayward Field on July 23, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon. (Image Credit: Johnathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing From Oregon Track Meet

By Brenda Owen,

Four members of an Ethiopian track team were reported missing Saturday morning in Eugene where they competed in the IAAF World Junior Championships.

"The individuals left campus ahead of the rest of the team," said Julie Brown, University of Oregon spokeswoman.

The Ethiopian region is under intense political upheaval, and athletes seeking asylum from unstable areas have historically used athletic tournaments to leave their country. Asked whether that was the case for the Ethiopians, Brown said she did not know why they left and could not confirm they were seeking asylum.

Brown said detectives are looking for the four but are not concerned for their safety. Rather, they want to make direct contact to confirm they are OK.

"At this point we don't have reason to believe that these individuals are in harm's way," she said.

The University of Oregon Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from the Eugene Police Department, and Brown said law enforcement agencies statewide have been notified.

Portland FBI Spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said the agency was aware of the situation and was acting in a supporting role, without clarifying.

It is the first time the University of Oregon has hosted the IAAF World Junior Championships, which includes with athletes from 170 countries, Brown said.

The missing runners include a 17-year-old boy and three women believed to be between ages 18 to 20.

Ethiopians at the track meet declined, throughout the team doctor, to speak to a reporter from The Oregonian.

If the four are seeking asylum, the process is a long one that starts with an application available online, said attorney Anna Ciesielski of the Oregon Immigration Group.

"They're likely to be here lawfully depending on their visa (for the track competition)," Ciesielski said.

After they apply for asylum, they will continue to be in the United States legally until their case is resolved.

"It's definitely months in the making," Cielsielski said.

Those seeking asylum must be fingerprinted and go through a criminal background check before the Office of Asylum in San Francisco sends a representative to Portland to interview them, she said.

If a person is denied, they can present their case in federal immigration court for a second assessment.

Asylum seekers are more common on the East Coast than in Oregon, Cielsielski said.

"It's really hard to get to the U.S., and you can't file for asylum outside the country," she said.

As for their chances to be granted asylum, Cielsielski said it's difficult for people from many countries, but Ethiopians and Somalis "have a pretty decent chance."

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Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing From Oregon Track Meet Reviewed by Admin on 12:00 AM Rating: 5


  1. a conflict has evolved in the western and southern eritrean army front.supporters of general manjus in the west are fighting the regime.In the southern front many eritrean solidiers are defecting to ethiopia.the eritrean regime is under fire.

  2. Where Is Z CruiseJuly 28, 2014 at 4:46 AM

    And so what? We have much things to worry about than missing Ethiopia athletes.

  3. Why you mad z cruise it's your ppl missing go search for them

  4. Where Is Z CruiseJuly 28, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    Kkkk I leave the Serching to you EritreanRat. You might end up marring one of them. Lol

  5. Ata saHsaH agame, we know how much you get touched of Ethiopians. You may run but hard to hide your sticking agame ass GUHAF !

  6. Why would I search for them. Oh you want to search for your agame in secret there your ppl don't be ashamed. And I rather be not married forever instead of marrying agame.

  7. Where Is Z CruiseJuly 28, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Kkk it seems you are related to them lol.
    There in no where it stated they are agames. They could be Oromos, Amharas... But since you are related to them you know which ethnic group they are.
    Now go and chase them before some one get them. Lol

  8. Where Is Z CruiseJuly 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Kkkk calling me Agame will not make me one. Lol
    Now why are you more concerned who run away from Ethiopia while our people are hitting the road (30000 a month). Why would you discuss about our issues and how we solve it instead discussing about Ethiopians?
    This is a simple question!

  9. Get lost qurdid agame

  10. why are you more concerned of anything said to woyanes? why not keep your ugly mouth shut instead? tinish sga inde merfe twega, huh?

  11. Your truly an agame you believe what the UN says lol keep your fake mouth that reapts what UN says to you self

  12. A site about Eritrea for Eritreans but from articles per page (from last 2 pages at least), 3 about Ethiopia. Obsession or what is it?

  13. Madote admin,

    At least get the source right. It is Wendy Owen not Brenda Owen.

    As a side note, you never uttered a word about our whole soccer teams missing in Kenya, Tanzania and again Kenya or out athlets missing in London, our singers missing in north america and Europe; yet you find it fancy to report about four Ethiopian ayhlets missing in Oregon. Now seriously you owe me explanation that you care about Eritrea and Eritreans; for I am at loss to see your motivation in founding madote. To care for the people and the country or to care for the despot regime we have at home and help it survive a little longer?

  14. Haha truth hurts doesn't it agame boy?let's hear from tigrayonlie if they are going to report it!!

  15. It's information (news) centre and shouldn't be limited to one region or country as the N.E.W.S stands for (north, East, West,south).swallow it agame boy.
    ps, who gave you (tigrayonlie, aygaforum) the right to write about Eritrea/ns while denying us that?

  16. Lol survive a little longer you agame boy don't know we will be there forever with the soul and power of PIA and his history. He will be with the country and the great fighters who sacrificed will be there for ever

  17. 3 of 4 missing Ethiopian athletes Found

    3 of 4 missing Ethiopian athletes FoundEUGENE, Ore. - Three of the 4 track and field athletes from Ethiopia who were reported missing Saturday after competing in the IAAF World Junior Championships...

  18. Doe this dud think Agame is insult?

  19. The athletes have been confirmed to be visiting family. In addition their visas allow them to be in the country for a month, hence they are not really missing. Not like the Eritrean national teams who all disappear and we find out where they are 2 years later.

  20. Bcoz it is!
    Same as jew.gabrove,nigger (niger) etc...
    It aint the word but message behind it! With that said,
    Algid agame :)

  21. Eritrea population 5 to 6 million 30.000 a month 360.000 a year so in the last 8 years 2'880.000 people left the country so just live us alone in anther 8 years you will have empty country or you will be getting your dad's job back (sel Mariam esfatseni or wardia

  22. Well THAT is a great news for an agame like your self dreaming of "abay agameeya" with her own port right?

    Either that or wait another 5milion years for the birth of the new 'sea' and complete your day-dream of abay agameeya, with happy lil agamitas running around breeding lil agamitas & agamidos !
    Kaappeeeesh ? ..........GOOOD !

  23. Lol, theyre not going back to the hell known as weyane ethiopia, trust me.


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