Two people were killed in a demonstration against the destruction of mosques in Ethiopia


Two people were killed in Addis Ababa on Friday during a demonstration against the destruction of mosques as part of a mega project around the Ethiopian capital, a media network close to the government reported, citing police.

Clashes erupted in the vicinity of Anwar Mosque, north of the Ethiopian capital, after Muslims took to the street after Friday prayers.

“Two people injured in disturbances in an area known as Gas Tira died after being taken to hospital for treatment,” the website of the “Fanabesi” network wrote.

The network added, quoting the police, that 4 demonstrators and 52 policemen were injured in the clashes.

A witness at Anwar Mosque – on condition of anonymity – confirmed that the worshipers shouted slogans hostile to a large center project called “Chigar City” and to the government.

“After the Friday prayers, people started chanting slogans to stop the destruction of our mosques,” he said, explaining that “large security forces arrived and when they reached the gates of the mosque, people got angry and threw stones and shoes at them.”

He added that the policemen “then fired tear gas and bullets in the air.”

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The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Addis Ababa called for the start of prosecutions, after it considered it an “unconstitutional and inhumane response” by the security forces against Muslims “who are peacefully defending their rights.”

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.

The project’s opponents condemn these operations, which they consider discriminatory and based, in their opinion, on ethnic and religious criteria.

It is noteworthy that Ethiopia has a Christian majority, especially Orthodox, but Muslims constitute a majority in almost a third of the country.

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