Jijiga protest condemn mosque attack in Motta, One person reportedly killed

Somali Region police intervene as Jijiga protest, which was called to condemn mosque attack in Motta in Western Ethiopia, escalates to violence

Jijiga protest  _ Ethiopia
The protest in Jijiga. Source : DW Amharic

December 25, 2019

Residents of Jijiga protested on Tuesday to condemn burning of mosques in Motta, Western Ethiopia. It took place in the city’s Stadium.

Protesters carried slogans that condemn the attacks on Mosques in Motta. Three Mosques  and about 18 stores were burned in the town last Friday after one ancient church was burned. The region’s police said that it has arrested suspects in connection with the attack. 

The protest in Jijiga did not end without security incident.  There was a violence towards the end of the protest as protesters clashed with security forces, DW Amharic reported citing government officials and eyewitnesses.

At least one person is killed during the clash, and several others were wounded.  “One person is dead towards the end of the protest, which was mostly attended by Youth group,” the region’s communication affairs consultant, Mohammed Olad, is quoted as saying. 

An eyewitness told DW Amharic on condition of anonymity, “Youth groups clashed with security forces. They throw rock and the security forces fired and killed a young lady and young man.” 

“The protest was peaceful. Some intruders wanted to transform it to violence but security forces nearby intervened to control the situation,” another eyewitnesses is quoted as saying. 

According to government authority’s narrative, the protest was mostly peaceful but what it called “certain forces” attempted to pervert it to violence. It was after that the government forces intervened to control the situation and it did so. 

The region’s government announced on Wednesday that over sixty suspected involved in the protest are detained. 

Mustafa Muhammed’s handling of what appears to be a planned attack against churches in Jijiga is praised by Ethiopians. According to some observers, the incident could have escalated to burning churches and attacking Christians had the regional government failed to act promptly. 

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