14 Dire Dawa police members are also reportedly attacked. Police says Identities of the groups who caused attack during Timkat celebration is yet to be established. Similar attack has happened in Harar on the same day.
January 21, 2020
One person was killed and seven others injured in Dire Dawa on Monday during the Timkat (Epiphany) celebration.
A statement from Dire Dawa Police said the person who died, name undisclosed, was hit by rocks. He was killed following a clash as the Ark from Abune Gorgorios church was in a procession.
The cause of the clash is unspecified but police said that it is under investigation. The statement also did not disclose as to what groups were involved in the clash.
Police also established that the seven people sustained wounds from a gunshot. But again, the identity of the group or groups behind the attack is undisclosed.
But the statement said that a detailed report on the incident will be released in the days to come.
Apart from human casualty, properties were damaged. Two vehicles entirely burned, two vandalized, one residential home blazed and three privately owned stores were plundered, among other damages to property, according to police report.
Dire Dawa, one of Ethiopia’s multicultural cities in the eastern part of the country, is about 52 kilometers from Hara city which also saw clashes between those want to disrupt the celebration of Ethiopian Epiphany and those who were defending the exercising of their religious rights which is constitutional.
In Harar, Priests carrying Ark from the Holy Savior Church and from St. George church were blocked in the middle of the procession.
According to social media sources, those who clashed in Harar, another multicultural city in the country, radicalized ethnic Oromo nationalists who call themselves as qeerroo and other youth groups who were putting up Ethiopian flag which radical Oromo nationalists accept.
Flags raised for the ceremony were removed by this same group.
Oromo Federalist Congress, on the other hand, claimed that its office in the city was attacked by a group of youth who were returning from the Timkat celebration waiving the Ethiopian flag.
Two days before Timkat celebration, the party was campaigning in the city, in fact in violation of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia’s legislation regarding election campaign. Some related the clash in the city with the radicalizing message of the party.
In Arsi, central Ethiopia, there were places where the Timkat celebration was entirely banned.
With the spread of anarchy and security problems, especially in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, people are increasingly showing frustrations towards Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.
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