Ethiopia : five suspects arrested over Mosque arson in Motta

Ethiopia _ Motta _ Mosque attack
Getnet Yirsaw, Amara Region Communication Head.

December 21, 2019

Amhara regional state authorities announced that five suspects are in custody in connection with arson in Motta in Gojjam  western Ethiopia which completely destroyed three mosques on Friday.   

The mosques were burned soon after an ancient church was burned on the same day. 

In addition to the mosques, some stores belonging to Muslims in Motta town were destroyed. 

The region’s Communication Affairs Office head, Getnet Yirsaw, said “those who do not like peace in the region wreaked havoc to Mosques and a church.”

Security forces in the region are in the hunt to detain more suspects responsible for the crime that was meant to bring clash between Ethiopian Christians and Ethiopian Muslims. 

“Security forces are working with community members to bring suspects to justice,” Getnet Yirsaw said. 

He also said that the attack does not represent the followers of the two faiths and it was intended to damage religious tolerance values Ethiopia is known for. 

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has issued a statement condemning the attack on mosques in strongest terms. The statement was read out by Patriarch Abune Mathias. He said that Ethiopian Orthodox Church will work with law enforcement bodies to hand over those who are responsible for the attacks.

Similarly, Ethiopian religious council has issued a statement condemning the attack and demanded government to hold those who are behind it responsible. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed  wrote an update on his social media page in three languages to condemn the attack. He said : 

“Attempts by extremists to breakdown our rich history of religious tolerance and coexistence have no place in the new prosperity focused Ethiopia. I condemn such acts of cowardice and call upon all peace loving Ethiopians to draw upon our deep knowledge of coexistence and our reservoir of respect. Recognizing and rejecting divisive agendas will guarantee our collective progress.” 

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