Somali Region police intervene as Jijiga protest, which was called to condemn mosque attack in Motta in Western Ethiopia, escalates to violence
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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The solution is replacing ethnic federalism with religious federalism.
At the places where the mosques were burned down, the Imams spoke how the Christians kept them safe during the violence and the youth who were destroying the mosque even carried away one of the Imams from the violence to keep them safe. The youth did wrong attacking the mosques even though they did it with a sense of vengeance. A more than 200 years old Church was burnt before the counter attack that happened on the mosques. The youth who attacked the mosque were super careful not to hurt ANYONE. And they made sure no lives were lost. It’s really amazing when of any [art of the country Somali protests about this incident in Amhara, when they sat down and said or did NOTHING when all those lives were lost, brutally murdered, raped and assaulted all those Christians in addition to burning down and destroying several churches and burning down even individual homes of the Christians. It’s a shame. If you protest against violence it should work for all, you can’t lay back and relax when you see lives being lost and yell when bricks fall.