3 people were killed and many injured Friday in Addis Ababa, according to the security forces, in clashes after Friday prayers near the largest mosque in the city between the police and young worshipers who were indignant at those who demolished mosques as part of an urban project.
The Ethiopian security forces said in a statement that “conspiracy groups want to destroy the regime by raising a religious flag … they caused riots by attacking the security forces deployed” near the Anwar Mosque.
The statement, published on Friday evening by a media outlet close to the Prosperity Party led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, added that the violence “left 3 dead and many wounded,” including 65 policemen, in addition to material losses.
After last Friday prayers, similar confrontations at the exit from the Anwar Mosque, located near the Mercato market in the center of the capital, resulted in the death of two people, according to the police, who also indicated that 56 people were injured – including 52 policemen – and 114 people were arrested.
Earlier, the Islamic Supreme Council in Addis Ababa reported one death and a number of wounded.
Last year, the federal authorities and the Oromia region launched a controversial project called “Chiger City”, which involves merging 6 towns surrounding the capital into a wide western arc.
In this context, the authorities have been destroying for months a number of buildings, houses and mosques that they consider to be built illegally.
Opponents of the project condemn these operations, which they consider discriminatory and based, in their opinion, on ethnic criteria (against people who do not belong to the Oromo ethnicity) and religious (targeting mosques).
Ethiopia has a Christian majority, especially the Orthodox, but Muslims make up almost a third of the country’s population.