Andargachew Tsige and family
Andargachew Tsige and his family in better times

This is a moment of almost unbearable anticipation for Yemi Hailemariam and her children.

From her home in London she is watching and waiting for any news of Andargachew, who was seized by Ethiopian security in 2014 while in Yemen.

Smuggled back to Addis Ababa, he was on death row.

But now the Ethiopian government has relented, agreeing to free Andargachew as part of a wider amnesty.

“I have still not spoken to him,” said Yemi in a phone interview. “The suspense is killing me!”

Yemi says her husband has been freed, but it still in the prison compound, as far as she knows.

Berhanu Tsegaye, Ethiopia’s attorney general, said on Saturday that Andargachew was pardoned “under special circumstances” along with 575 other inmates.

The decisions were made with the “intention of widening political space,” the attorney general told reporters in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The British Foreign Office is reportedly preparing to fly Andargachew home, and Yemi is grateful for what they have done. “They became politically engaged, when the window of opportunity appeared,” she said. “Especially the ambassador.’

This has not muted her criticism of the lack of British action in the intervening years.

“They always argued they could not interfere in the legal affairs of another country,” Yemi observes.

But the months and years of waiting do appear about to come to an end. It will be a joyful moment indeed when the reunion finally takes place.