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Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council raises alarm over attacks on Muslims in Amhara region

The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council has conveyed serious apprehensions regarding several reported instances of violence perpetrated against the Muslim community in the Amhara region, notably encompassing the recent tragic deaths of four members of a single family along with their neighbor (Photo: Harun Media)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council has expressed grave concerns over a reported wave of attacks specifically targeting Muslims in the Amhara regional state in recent months.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Council outlined numerous alleged incidents of violence against the Muslim community in the region.

One of the most recent incidents, according to the Council, occurred on 07 April, 2024, in Bahir Dar city, the capital of Amhara region. Four members of one family and their neighbor were reportedly killed “in a brutal manner” by gunmen as they were returning home after attending prayers at a local mosque.

The Council also cited reports of a believer killed in Mota town as well as frequent shootings and bombings targeting mosques in Gondar city.

The Amhara Regional Islamic Affairs Higher Council had issued a similar statement the previous day, claiming that more than 80 Muslims have lost their lives, tens of thousands have been displaced, and numerous cases of kidnapping and robbery have been reported in the past eight months.

The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council stated that it had received information from the Amhara Regional Islamic Affairs Higher Council regarding other recent incidents.

These included an alleged kidnapping in Mota, where militants reportedly extorted a ransom payment of 300,000 birr from the victim’s family and subsequently “heinously” killed him.

The Council also mentioned the shooting and stabbing of a married couple on 04 April, 2024, in Bichena town, as well as killings of Muslims reported in Gondar city during that period.

The statement alleged, “Believers were killed on a large scale, kidnapped, and thousands displaced; massive robberies took place,” citing claims of killings, constraints, looting, and evictions targeting Muslims across different areas of Amhara over the past eight months.

While acknowledging that “people may have several questions,” the Council condemned the “targeting of civilians” based on religion as “totally unacceptable” in a nation where multiple faiths coexist.

The statement calls for the Amhara regional government to protect its citizens, “track down the criminals and bring them to justice,” and publicly announce the outcomes.

Furthermore, the federal government was called upon to “clear extremist elements” and stabilize the security situation across Amhara, especially in areas like the Oromo Special Zone.

Advocating dialogue, the statement warned that failing to resolve conflicts peacefully risks an “endless cycle of destruction” benefiting no one. It appealed to authorities, the public, religious groups, and leaders to take concerted action against the “evil practice” of civilian targeting. AS

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