MUSLIM HATE IN ETHIOPIA
Tourists From 5 Nations Victims in Ethiopia Attack
By LUC VAN KEMENADE Associated Press
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia January 18, 2012 (AP)
Gunmen in Ethiopia's arid north attacked a group of European tourists
traveling in one of the world's lowest and hottest regions, killing
five, wounding two and kidnapping two, an Ethiopian official said
Ethiopia called the attack "an act of open terrorism" and said the
gunmen came from neighboring Eritrea and attacked the tourist group
before dawn on Tuesday. Three Ethiopians were also taken hostage.
Eritrea denied it was involved.
Austrian, Belgian, German, Hungarian and Italian nationals were among
those in the tourist group, Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket
Two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian were among the five killed,
according to an Interpol report cited by the spokesman for Hungary's
prime minister. Two Belgians were seriously hurt and two Italians
escaped unharmed, the report said. Two Germans were kidnapped.
Austria's foreign ministry confirmed that an Austrian man from the
province of Upper Austria was among the five dead. Germany's foreign
minister also confirmed two German deaths. Germany's foreign minister
said 12 other people were flown to safety by helicopter.
Those wounded in the attack arrived in Addis Ababa Wednesday evening,
where they were met by embassy personnel. A British diplomat at the
airport said it was possible one British tourist was among the group
One victim had to be moved in a wheelchair. Others covered their faces
to avoid being photographed by journalists. A diplomat said that the
victims did not want to make any statements to the media and said that
they have had "a very hard time."
Ethiopia offered its condolences to the families of victims and said it
would "do everything possible to try and get those taken prisoner
released as soon as possible," a government statement said. "It is
already clear that the attack was carried out with the direct
involvement of the Eritrean Government. There is a fear that the people
who have been kidnapped might be taken across the border into Eritrea."
Ethiopia said it suspects the attack was linked to an upcoming African
Union summit in Addis Ababa later this month. It said the attack shows
that the international community "must now get serious about the
destabilizing role of the Eritrean regime in the region."
The tourists were visiting a volcanic region in Ethiopia's northern
Afar region, which lies below sea level and is known for its intense
heat and picturesque salt flats.
Some of the tourists appeared to be traveling with Addis Ababa-based
Green Land Tours and Travel, according to three people in Ethiopia's
capital, all of whom asked not to be identified because the information
hadn't yet been made public.
Green Land Tours and Travel offers a 15-day travel package to the Afar
region, which include visits to watch salt extraction from salt lakes
and a trek around a volcano that spouts lava pools.
Some of the tourists on the trip also appear to have been booked by a
company in Germany called Diamir, which posted a statement on its
website saying that it deeply regrets what happened. Diamir said it had
offered the Ethiopia trip several times a year since 2006.
"Up until the current incident, Diamir had no indications that the
security of guests could be in question in the region," it said, adding
that there was no German travel warning in place for Ethiopia or parts
of it at the time of the incident.
Bereket said that "some groups trained and armed by the Eritrean
government" attacked the tourists about 20 to 25 kilometers (12 to 15
miles) from the Eritrean border.
Eritrea's ambassador to the African Union, Girma Asmerom, said
Ethiopia's allegations are an "absolute lie" and that the attack is an
internal Ethiopian matter.
Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war from 1998 to 2000,claiming the
lives of about 80,000 people. Tension between the neighboring East
African countries rose last year when a U.N. report claimed that
Eritrea was behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in
Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Launsky-Tiefenthal said there
was an Austrian Foreign Ministry travel warning in effect for the
region since 2007 "because of several incidents involving attacks on
tourist groups ... in some case politically motivated in others
In 2007, five Europeans and 13 Ethiopians were kidnapped in Afar.
Ethiopia accused Eritrea of masterminding that kidnapping, but Eritrea
blamed an Ethiopian rebel group. All of those hostages were released,
though some of the Ethiopians were held for more than a month.
In 2008, Ethiopia foiled a kidnapping attempt on a group of 28 French tourists in the area.
"The problem is, there is no infrastructure in the area, no telephone
lines, satellite phones barely work," Launsky-Tiefenthal said,
comparing the remote area to "the surface of Mars."
Ethiopia Faces Threat from Wahabi Muslim Extremists
MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2011 04:12 NEWBUSINESSETHIOPIA.COM
By Andualem Sisay
Wahabi Muslim extremists in Ethiopia are being engaged in underground
violence and unrest instigation activities by abusing the freedom of
religion and faith guaranteed by the constitution says, Ethiopian
“We are not against their doctrine; what they are doing by organizing
themselves underground is a crime against the constitution,” said
Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Federal Affairs.
The minister made
the remark at a daylong workshop prepared for local journalists and
public relation officers of the government at the Federal Police
Headquarter here in Addis Ababa over the weekend.
extremists have been invading mosques in the country with causing
violence that resulted in death and injuries of other non- Wahabi
Muslims sect followers, according to the minister, who mentioned the
crisis witnessed in Harar, Gimma, Wellega, Illubabor and Bale areas of
the country over the past years.
The group have been working in
secrete to make Ethiopia a Muslim nation that will be ruled by Shriya
law by abusing the rights of religion stated in the constitution of the
country. “As such acts of Wahabi Muslim extremists will lead the
country in chaos, the government is forced to intervene,” the minister
According to the Ethiopian constitution government and
religion are separate and one will not interfere into business of the
other. While people are free to choose the religion they want to
follow. In addition it also states that there will be no state religion
in Ethiopia and all religions are equal.
Contrary to this, the
government has now found that the Wahabi Muslim extremists have been
working underground to make Ethiopia a Muslim nation by violating the
rights of other people to believe in what ever they want.
found evidences and pamphlets were publicly distributed during the
month of Ramadan calling on the Muslim community to stand up against
all non- Wahabi Muslims and other religion followers,” he said.
Wahabi sect is a member of a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect from
Saudi Arabia. The doctrine strives to purify Islamic beliefs and
rejects any innovation occurring after the 3rd century of Islam; "Osama
bin Laden is said to be a Wahhabi Muslim".
Religion and Faith Director
General at the Ministry, Meressa Reda on his part said: “At the moment
our main duty is to save the innocent Muslims who being led to the
traps of religious conflict in Ethiopia orchestrated by these Wahabi
Implementing Constitution without Rules
From the public transport to streets, from government offices to
universities, different religion extremists have been abusing the
rights of people who also have the right not to follow any of these
The fact that Ethiopia has not yet put in place
proclamations, rules and manuals on how to use freedom of religion and
faith written on the constitution is mentioned as one of the reasons
that allowed people to abuse these rights.
At the moment one there is no clear rule which areas are for preaching
religion and what kinds of precautions has to be taken in order to
avoid the peace of other citizens who do not belong to that specific
There is no clear demarvcation between residence areas and noisy
religious practices at any time of the day and night. If one generous
person of a certain religion gives his home to the followers, they can
automatically convert it to worshiping institutions violating the
rights of other people who used to live peacefully.
As a result most
of the dominant religions in the country are engaged in underground
zero sum intra and inter religion war. If one religion follower put a
giant speaker on a four wheel drive car and disturbs the city with
limitless volume, its competitor comes with a larger truck and speaker
to annoy the city.
There is no rule in place that will protect the
peace and health of the people who are not interested in any religion.
Some of the participants of the workshop also described most of these
religious institutions as the most corrupt and failed institutions to
serve even their followers properly. Many agree that if the
institutions were properly managed at least the lives of the poor
Ethiopians from whom they collect money could have been better today.
Some people suggest that government has to approach these
institutions and assist them in preparing and implementing transparent
and accountable institution running guidelines by specifying clearly
their role in poverty reduction in addition to the usual spiritual
services they have been busy for centuries.
As a result of
conflicts within or between or among these religion extremists is
resulting in unnecessary bloodsheds and burning of mosques and
churches. Some people advice that the government has to use early
warning and protection mechanisms before such conflicts manifest.
Arab Wahabi missionaries, mainly from Saudi Arabia, continue to make
inroads into the Ethiopian Muslim community, but are meeting increasing
resistance in doing so, according to a recent US cable released by
Wikileaks. The indigenous Muslim culture (mainly Sufi Muslim community)
has come under attack since 9/11 by Wahabi missionaries engaging in
what amounts to cultural imperialism against Ethiopian Islam.
“Prior to 9/11, there was little Wahabi proselytizing in
Ethiopia. As a result, Ethiopia's delicate Muslim/Christian
balance and historic attitudes between the faith communities regarding
tolerance and mutual respect are being challenged, thereby undermining
U.S. interests in the region. Sufi Muslim leaders want support
from the U.S. to counter this pressure,” according to wikileaks.
The other part of US cable released August 30, 2011 stated that as part
of the strategy of countering Wahabi influence through cultural
programming the United States government has been doing different
things in Ethiopia since 2006 to present.
The report indicated that
the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) of the US
government has granted to restore the Sheikh Hussein Shrine in Bale.
“In addition, AFCP grant to restore the Teferi Mekonnen Palace in Harar
(although the childhood home of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Palace now
houses the City Museum, which is heavily focused on Muslim life in
Harar,” stated the cable entitled ‘Countering Wahabi Influences in
Ethiopia Through Cultural Programs’.
Besides, AFCP grant to restore the Muhammad Ali House in Addis Ababa,
the home of a prominent Muslim merchant that reflects the heavy
influence of Muslim merchants and trade with the Middle and Far East in
the 19th century, according to Wikileaks.
“When well-considered and executed creatively, cultural programming can
make a real difference in turning back Islamic extremism and turning
public opinion against activists who seek to overturn the existing
order and import a brand of Islam that breeds conflict through its
corrosive teachings that run counter to more orthodox interpretations
of the Koran,” Ambassador Yamamato concludes in his July 2009 report.
Thousands Of Christians Flee Deadly Violence In Ethiopia; Churches Burned
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 (10:00 pm)
Dozens of churches destroyed
130 people detained, official says
By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife)-- Thousands of Christians are fleeing violence
in western Ethiopia where Muslim extremists killed several Christians
and burned dozens of churches, rights activists and officials said
Wednesday March 9.
Barnabas Fund, which supports Christians in the Muslim-majority area,
told BosNewsLife that 55 churches and dozens of homes are reported to
have been torched in recent days near the city of Jimma, in western
Oromia region, "with many more properties looted by the mob."
government spokesman Shimelis Kemal said in a radio interview that two
Christians had been killed in the incidents in the town of Asendabo and
surrounding areas and that police reinforcements had moved in to
"In Jimma area,
some extremists and some fundamentalists have instigated some people to
burn a few prayer places, praying places, and this has been
investigated by police and those who are suspected to have set fire on
those churches have been apprehended," he told the
Voice of America (VOA) network in an earlier interview.
said Wednesday, March 9, that three Christians had been killed. There
was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy, but with tensions
continuing the death toll was expected to rise.
involving thousands of Islamists have continued, spreading
systematically through five districts in the predominantly Muslim
area," said International Christian Concern (ICC), another U.S. based
rights group closely monitoring the situation.
Government officials said so far 130 suspects had been detained and charged with instigating religious hatred and violence.
ICC quoted a
Christian leader as saying that the attacks were organized by members
of Kwarej, a radical Islamic group that fights to establish an Islamic
state in Ethiopia.
attackers allegedly came from different parts of Ethiopia, including
the Somali region. "It’s very sad that a radical Muslim group
destabilizes the unity of Ethiopian Christians and Muslims. We are
devastated by the attacks and we urge all concerned people to help us.
We call upon Ethiopian officials to prevent similar attacks from
happening in the future," the church leader reportedly said, apparently
speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
The government has not yet confirmed the background of those detained.
Asendabo is a
town located in an area that was the scene of violent attacks against
Christians in 2006 when Muslims killed more than a dozen Christians and
burned down several churches, ICC said.
are fighting to establish an Islamic state in Christian majority
Ethiopia. Unfortunately, the Christians have borne the brunt of the
Islamic attacks," said ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan
Racho told BosNewsLife in a statement.
continue to be killed unless the government of Ethiopia starts taking
serious measures to stop Islamists from carrying out similar attacks,"
Racho said, adding that his group has urged the international community
to pressure Ethiopia's government to improve the situation.
The most recent
census reportedly indicates that Ethiopia is about 60 percent Christian
and 40 percent Muslim, though Muslims dispute the figures. (With
reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos and reporters in the region).
Mennonite World Conference (MWC)
January 10, 2003
Violence Continues Against Christians in Ethiopia
ABABA, Ethiopia — Christians in Ethiopia continue to be targets of
violent acts in this country where Muslim and Eastern Orthodox
religions are dominant. On December 29, 2002, a Meserete Kristos
(Mennonite) Church (MKC) in Mekele was looted and burned. All its
property was destroyed and one member at the church compound at the
time was severely beaten.
earlier in the year included raiding the home of Christians in
Abdurafi, a small village in the northwest. Two church leaders there
were beaten, one needing hospitalization for 13 days. In Moyale, a town
on the Kenyan border, two elderly MKC women suffered beatings. One,
aged 65, spent 10 days in hospital and she sustains permanent
disabilities. In Maychew, violent demonstrations led to the burning of
all Christian churches there, including an MKC church. Its leader was
imprisoned due to false accusations, and is still in prison, according
Zeleke, Evangelism and Missions secretary of the MKC, said that the
hostility against Christians has escalated in the last year.
in this country have targeted the evangelicals as number one enemy. The
hostility is not limited to MKC. It embraces all active evangelical
churches in the country," said Zeleke.
Muslim religion is dominant in some parts of Ethiopia, ranging from 90
percent of the population in the southeast to nearly 100 percent in the
Afar region. In the Tigray region in the north, 96 percent of the
people are Ethiopian Orthodox.
to Zeleke, these religions regard themselves as the only religions that
have the right to expand their faith in the country and they target
evangelicals who are engaged in aggressive mission efforts throughout
MKC has 83 missionaries working mostly among unreached groups within
Ethiopia as well as international workers in three African countries.
The church, in partnership with Eastern Mennonite Missions in the U.S.,
plans to send two workers to Asia and is in the process of accepting
into membership a church of East African immigrants based in the Middle
said that MKC is asking Anabaptists around the world to pray for its
evangelistic and mission efforts, especially in this difficult time of
— Ferne Burkhardt, News Editor
Brits warned against travel to Ethiopia
Last Modified: 3 Nov 2005
The Foreign Office has urged British citizens against non-essential travel to
At least 33 people have been killed and 150 wounded in three days of
A Foreign Office statement said: "There have been further serious disturbances
across the capital on 1 and 2 November 2005, resulting in a number of deaths.
"Opposition leaders have been arrested and further violence in Addis and other
towns cannot be ruled out. We advise against non-essential travel to Ethiopia
until the situation settles."
In Ethiopia's worst violence in months, security forces opened fire to disperse
hundreds of demonstrators apparently heeding a call by the biggest opposition
party for renewed protests against a May 15 poll it says was rigged.
Security forces were deployed to patrol the quiet streets of the capital where
shops were shut to mark the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr festival.
Thousands of Muslims streamed to the main square in Addis Ababa for dawn prayers
in a peaceful but brief gathering to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fasting
Merchant Hussein Aware said: "The ceremony is not as joyful as previous years.
Many people did not come. We are very sad because of all this fighting."
The United States has condemned "cynical, deliberate" attempts to stoke violence
in the capital.
Medical sources in two hospitals have said two people were shot dead during the
third day of clashes between police and protesters.
A doctor said: "We have one person dead. He was 19 years old and hit in the
Another doctor in the Black Lion hospital said a 60 year-old man was killed in
unrest in an eastern suburb of Addis Ababa.
02/09/2008 08:25 - (SA)
Mogadishu - An Islamist
militia commander said on Monday his fighters will intensify attacks against
government and Ethiopian forces even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Yusuf Mohamed Siad - allied
to hardline cleric Hassan Dahir Aweys who is designated as a terrorist by the US
- said the fighting is "in compliance with the guidance of our prophet
"We will double our attacks
against the Ethiopians and their Somali government stooges even during the month
of Ramadan until we root out the enemy of Allah from the country," he told
reporters in Mogadishu.
Since their movement was
ousted by a joint Ethiopia-Somali forces in early 2007, Islamist militias have
waged a deadly insurgency against their rivals mainly in the capital.
The hardline Islamists have
rejected a UN-sponsored truce.
Civilians have borne the
heaviest brunt of the violence and at least 6 000 have died in the past year
alone, many in Mogadishu.
Somalia has lacked an effective government since the 1991 ouster of dictator
Mohamed Siad Barre, sparking a deadly power struggle that has defied numerous
bids to restore stability in the Horn of Africa nation.
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