By Jeremiah Fastin
Copyright © 2011 by Jeremiah A. Fastin
All rights reserved by the author
The author wishes to acknowledge the reporting of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the reports of which were referenced in the production of this book.
It hadn’t rained in several days and the road was cracked with rivulets and channels cut from the last downpour, a dried wash of rocks and clay that created a fine cloud of silt as the land rover drove over top. The road led to a home and Jonas Negusse sat up as he heard the first sounds of the vehicle approach and then got up from his chair and stood at the door peering out. An unannounced visitor was always some cause for concern and this surprise visit caused him a particular sense of unease. As the truck crested the rise and came out of the shadow of the gulley of the road, his fear was realized. He counted four to five men in the white land rover dressed in green military fatigues. It was already too late to tell his wife and daughter to run and he would stand at the door and play it straight. What could they know, he asked himself and convinced himself of the answer, nothing.
The vehicle stopped in front of the house and Jonas went onto the front porch to meet it. A smallish man with dark skin and an officer’s insignia exited the passenger side of the truck while the soldiers in irregular uniforms filed out of the back and reunited with their leader and stood slouching against the truck with their guns at their side or held by the barrel with the stock on the ground waiting. Jonas took the initiative and spoke first doing his best to sound natural, he introduced himself. “Hello,” he said, “I’m Jonas Negusse, what can I do for you gentlemen?”