Three Mosques reportedly blazed in Western Ethiopia

Ethiopia _ Mosques burned
Unverified photo showing burned mosques in Mota. Source : SM

December 20, 2019

Three Mosques are reportedly burned entirely on Friday in the evening around 7:30 p.m. local time in western Ethiopia.

In a social media update on Friday, Ustaz Abubakr Ahmed, a former member of Ethiopian Muslim Committee member and a notable figure who is also elected as a member of Ethiopia’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, said that the incident happened in East Gojjam Zone Mota district.

“…the Grand Jemihul Heirat mosque and two other mosques have been burned,” he said in his update which he wrote in Amharic. 

He also said that it happened after the ancient St. George church was blazed for unknown reasons.  Condemning the attack, he called on government authorities to act on it and get to the bottom of it to establish culprits behind it.

Gunfire in the town is reported although unclear if it has something to do with government securities or other armed groups. Stores are plundered.

Ethiopian government news outlets, at the regional or federal level, have not reported about the incident at this writing.  Ethiopian Federal police have not issued a statement or confirmed the incident, too.

Targeting and burning places of worship have happened in the recent past in the southern parts of Ethiopia. And it was mostly against Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church; dozens of churches have been burned.

But now it seems to be shifting to the northwestern parts of Ethiopia. And this time it is mosques that are targeted mainly. A video circulating on social media shows a group of people chanting songs as fire is shown in the background.

It is widely believed among Ethiopians that there are groups (internal and external) with a political motive behind the attacks on places of worship.

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