Three Ethiopian churches burnt in Sidama, death toll reaches 60

Ethiopian churches have become the latest targets of radical Sidama etho-nationalist youth, also known as Ejeto.

Apart from attacking non-ethnic Sidamas, destruction of private properties has been one of the major hallmarks of radical ethnic Sidama Youth Movement (ejeto). Photo: from SM

borkena
July 22, 2019

Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) says that about 60 people have been killed since July 18, 2019, according to a report by DW Amharic.

On Thursday, July 18, 2018, we reported about clashes between ethnic Sidama Youth – Ejeto – and government security forces. Death toll a day after the clash was only about twenty.

In fact, there seems to be disagreement about the number of casualties.  Sidama Zone police deputy head, Commander Desalegne, confirmed that people have been killed in the clash but the figure is “exaggerated”, as reported by DW.

BBC Amharic cited hospital officials on Monday to report that at least 25 people are killed due to the clash between Ethiopian security forces and what it called “activists in southern Ethiopia.”

However, the BBC report confirmed that other ethnic groups have been killed by “angry mobs” although the number of people killed from other ethnic group is not disclosed.

Government media outlet did not report about the number of casualties so far.  

Ethnic Sidama is said to be in the neighborhood of 3.5 million which is about three percent of Ethiopia’s nearly 105 million populations.

The latest string of violence started on Thursday, July 18, 2019, when Sidama Youth groups (they are known in Sidama language as Ejeto) unilaterally declared Sidama Zone, which is currently part of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Regional State, whose seat of government is Hawassa – a city over which Sidama ethno-nationalists are claiming exclusive ownership in just like what radical Oromo Ethno-nationalists have been demanding over Ethiopia’s capital – Addis Ababa, as a federal-state.

Why the “demand for ethnic-statehood” degenerated to violence that targeted non-Sidama ethnic communities, mainly ethnic-Amhara as some observers say, is unclear.

It is unclear as to who is to be held accountable for it or whether there is a political will on the part of the Federal and regional government to do so.

There are voices in social media that are calling for the arrest of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region’s president, Million Matheos, who is believed to be an ardent Sidama ethno-nationalist himself, to be held accountable for all the lives lost and destruction of properties – mostly of non-ethnic Sidamas.

Some Sidama politicians declare that that has happened saddened them. Dejene Woldeamanuel is one of the pioneers of the Sidama Liberation Movement in the 1970’s and he currently lives in Switzerland.

In a remark during an interview with Voice of America Amharic service, he said: “What happened to those whom they think that they oppose regional statehood question and sometimes those who are from another area [of Ethiopia] who lived for generations is very saddening.”

He confirmed that properties are looted in some places while there has been destruction of hard earned private properties.

Scene after destruction and looting in Sidama. Source : Social Media

Ethiopian churches burnt

Three Ethiopian churches in Sidama, Amaro and Burji diocese are burnt, reported DW Amharic. The source said that it has confirmed the news from the church authorities.

Doya Michael, Gesaba-Gebrekristos and Chiro Amanuel are the churches that got burned in the Sidama Dioceses of Ethiopian Orthodox Church (otherwise known as Ethiopian Church) according to Megabi Haymanot Kesis Netsanet Aklog told DW Amharic.

The attack was specifically launched against Ethiopian church. Some of the members of the church who tried to protect the church are reportedly killed. 

A disturbing image of a murdered priest in the area which was circulating on social media has shocked many Ethiopians.

Several deacons had to run away to adjacent churches in Oromo region of Ethiopia following the attack on the three churches, according to DW Amharic.

Archbishop of the Sidama has ordered a week-long prayer since Sunday and a group from Ethiopian Religious Council is expected to travel to the scene to investigate the attack.



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16 Responses to "Three Ethiopian churches burnt in Sidama, death toll reaches 60"

  1. abbabula dande   July 23, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Another crisis of ethnic politics and ethnic federalism! How many millions should die before this backward country and its people realize that ethnic politics by its very nature is destructive!! The sons of the elites are safe; it is the poor youth who die every day!!

    Reply
  2. Melaku Teshome   July 23, 2019 at 9:03 am

    The ugly faces of poverty. Look at the the people and surrounding. In addition to tackling poverty birth control policy should be considered.

    Reply
  3. Ittu Aba Farda   July 23, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I have mentioned to you, my very dear countrymen, that bigots who have honed and hardened their plan from the safe distance here among us and the dumpsites in Asmara have gone back to the old country to go about their chores of spewing their poison unsupervised among the desperately unemployed youths there. These demons are roaming practically in every region. They may have a free ride easier in some regions than others but even in those where they seems to be overwhelmed by the level heads it is a matter of time before taking matters in their own hands. From what I hear from the old country is that these so-called elites have given a homework for the gullible and enraged youth to come up with a list of anyone who they think he/she is not one of her own. These elites from every region are making very good use of the so-called social media and internet to achieve their objectives which is set that gem of the colored ablaze. They have managed to go even further as founding their own media companies based overseas as non-profit outfits.

    The sad and upsetting thing about this mayhem is that bigots have been swaggering their murderous knives in the open for quite some time now and with ultimatums. The government should have anticipated this savage act all along. This is happening under the watchful eye of every official in charge of keeping the citizens there safe. They share the responsibility for this cruel act just for not doing the job they are hired to do.

    O!! Bigots!!!! Damn, damn, damn you lump of human refuse bigots!!! Damn, damn, damn you bigots!!! You heathens!!!! You must be ashamed of yourself!!! Burn in hell!!! It seems there are no devils in hell now and they are all there inside of you!!! You damn, damn, damn bigots!!!

    Reply
  4. mammo   July 23, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    this attack bears the wholemark of olf and the lawless thugs trained by them locally. olf associate the orthodox church with amhara and this attack is part of the ethnic cleansing campaign to drive out from the region those ethiopians who are not ethnically sidama.
    it has to be remembered that Jaawaar Mohamad, the man driving the ‘second ‘ government in ethiopia has been calling for the creation of a sidama republic, if necessary by force , prior to this violence and mob killings, burning of churches, massacres and lootings. the government silently allowed jawaar to incite people to violence. they should take total responsibility for these massacres and destruction. .

    Reply
  5. Ittu Aba Farda   July 23, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Dear Honorable Editors of this website,

    I did not mean to post the same comment twice on your website. I was rushing from one website to another screaming and must have done twice here not realizing I had done that already. I did not mean to take storage space and profusely apologize for that. Please delete the 2nd one since one is enough. I hope my dear sensible countrymen will lend me their harmonious ears in my cry for help!!!!

    Reply
  6. Obsaa_Injifataa   July 24, 2019 at 12:55 am

    It is not ethnic federalism that triggers such conflicts but chauvinists underestimation of the right of people for self rule.

    Reply
  7. Truth   July 24, 2019 at 12:58 am

    In the first place, why Sidama are denied the right for statehood when small nations such as Adares enjoy it?

    Reply
  8. Balageru   July 24, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Abiy failed again a potential disaster management skill which has been brewing for years in the south instead of staying at home and control it ,He went to Asmera to do nothing with dictator IA. I think he should resign and the militery should take control til the country election is held.
    this guy can not run KFC let alone a complex Ethiopia.

    Reply
    • Melaku Teshome   July 26, 2019 at 9:58 am

      My friend, it is not Abiye who failed it is the people he tried to lead that failed him and their country. How can one rationalize such level of cruelty and damage being inflicted on one Ethiopian against another Ethiopian? The leaders of these groups are stupid, shortsighted and narrow minded. It is a shame…very shameful.

      Granted this is the ugly face of poverty, but burning the House God? Where did all this hate come from? We always often like to point our fingers on others for our failures. Abiye is absolutely clean on this. There is nothing wrong with Medemer. Is ISIS making a come back?.

      Reply
  9. Humanity and Civilization   July 24, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    What does burning Churches has to do with “demanding for ethnic-statehood”? Who is the first person to look at for this horrible crime?

    It is all an excuse to kill Christians and loot their hard earned property!!! So far we have seen an heard the video of Jawar Mohamed titled as (“Jawar Mohammed Contraverstial speech caught on tape- We will cut of the head of Chrstians”) because they are few of them in the area he considers his.

    And we never hear General Mohamed Tessema who is stepping out of his duty to threatens journalists doing the job he is required to do which is catching up criminals. We also never heard Abiy Ahmed condemning this heinous crime against Christians.

    There will never be a democracy in an ethnic federalism that one ethnic group by itself controls power and economy and the rest are suppressed and harassed. This is exactly the ugly backward and dangerous result of ethnic federalism that brings chaos and disaster.

    Reply
  10. Amarech Zeleke   July 24, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    The recent result released by from a study held in the Southern region of Ethiopia , did not ask us if we like the ethnic federalism system to continue or if we want the ethnic federalism system abolished.

    The study only asked us if we want Sidama to become it’s own state separated from the Southern state or not , obviously we said we like to see the Southern state stay as it is now rather than seeing Sidama separating from the Southern state.

    Many Southern state residents want to see የጃንሆይ አይነት ፌደራሊዝም ሲስተም ( Fiscal Federalism system) replacing the ethnic federalism system in a much faster pace in Ethiopia, the current slow pace the replacement of ethnic federalism system with the የጃንሆይ አይነት ፌደራሊዝም ሲስተም ( Fiscal Federalism system) going too slow in Ethiopia which is the main reason for the unnecessary growing crisis we see in Ethiopia.

    የጃንሆይ አይነት ፌደራሊዝም ሲስተም ( Fiscal Federalism system) is the type of Federalism in which the money bag controls everything. This gives Congress massive amounts of power as it is responsible for the American treasury. It can therefore limit the budget of any other political department it does not believe is working towards the best interest of America. There have been several instances in our history however of times when Congress has given full of the treasury to the President. One example of this would be the Tonkin Gulf Resoultion in 1964 which gave President Johnson the ability to, “expressing the unity and determination of the United States in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia”. Which as anyone can see leaves a wide space open for interpretation. To quote Dr Berry, it was essentially a “blank check”

    The definition has changed over time and history has shown us that our own actions have created a few new forms of Federalism in American’s times of crisis.

    https://borkena.com/2019/07/24/result-of-study-on-south-ethiopia-administrative-arrangement-released/

    Reply
  11. 100 % ETHIOPIAN   July 25, 2019 at 9:39 am

    We Ethiopians are way different from other Ethnic groups found in the current World, when it comes to Two things:-

    1) Phisical Slavery and
    2) Mental Slavery.

    If you live in Toronto, Canada.
    And New York, America, you will see all Ethnicities groups around the World.

    It is like, all the World ethnic groups under one roof.

    The only one who are suffering and loosing moral values of lives are:-
    The Six Slave Nations of the World, which are called J. E. S. A. A. B

    1) JEWISH,
    2) EAST-EUROPEAN,
    3) SOUTH-EUROPEAN,
    4) ASIANS,
    5) ARABS and
    6) BSD (BLACK SLAVE DESCENDANTS).

    These Slave Descendants, at the past, their Families used to be Physical Slaves, way before the Industrial Revolutionary times.
    But now, their current and upcoming generations are continuing to suffer MENTAL SLAVERY/ILLNESSES.

    ============

    THANKS FOR OUR FOR FATHER’S, OUR BELOVED FAMILIES AND OUR ALMIGHTY GOD, WE ETHIOPIANS ARE FREE FROM PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SLAVERY.

    Our current problems are Engineered and Blueprint education by the above Six Slave Nations/Ethnic Groups, who are gealouss on Ethiopians.

    Reply
  12. 100 % ETHIOPIAN   July 25, 2019 at 9:44 am

    We the People, who are living in NORTH AMERICA, should solve the current problems in our beloved Country-Ethiopia.

    Remember, Jawar Mohammed.
    He used to have One Great-Ethiopia Mentality.

    Reply
  13. Tamiru loliso   July 25, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Such kinds of destructions has been occured due to failure of government to fulfil the demands of the people according to the constitution .

    Reply
  14. SLW   July 25, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    The hate of TPLF/OLF to their brothers just to get to the echelons power and stay there is reaching biblical propositions. Soon they will be thrown in the hell out together with other extremists like the Sidamas extremists and the ODP/ADP Pilatus hand washing while they see so much injustice. Soon all Ethiopians will roar and we will see where they will hide.

    Reply
  15. Solomon mengistu   July 26, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Where does those sick,stupid & illiterate the so called sidama nationalist came from?????
    are they pagans???
    because they don’t like Ethiopians and they are not Ethiopian who is allowed them to live in Ethiopia?????
    what does ethiopian government & ethiopian army waiting for ????

    down with evil sidama nationalist !

    Reply

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