Narrative from Amhara regional gov’t says a clash between individuals in Gondar was deliberately escalated in a way to make it appear violence between followers of Muslims and Christians
An unspecified number of people are reportedly killed in Gondar following what the government described as the escalation of an incident that involved a fight between two individuals who happened to be followers of Christian and Islam regions.
Unconfirmed social media reports say at least three people are killed, and an unspecified number of people are wounded and are said to be hospitalised. It is unclear whether the injuries are life-threatening or not.
The incident happened during the funeral of Sheikh Kemal Legas. Apparently, an individual who wanted to pick up a rock for the funeral from a nearby place of Christian worship got into a fight with another individual who disallowed the rock to be taken. It then escalated to something bigger and spread to the city from the Muslim funeral place.
Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council shared a brief update on its social media page. It said “What is happening in Gondar is an attack on Muslims, disrespecting Mosques and destroying properties. We condemn it.”
The social media update from the council claimed that a hand grenade was thrown and three people were killed.
Amhara region peace and security office head, Desalegn Tassew, told Amhara Media corporation that an incident involving a clash between two individuals was escalated to something bigger, and given a religious character.
He added that for those who escalated, the identity of the group is unspecified, the incident had a mission [ to create a religious conflict in Gondar city], and the security in the city was disrupted.
Authorities claimed that the situation came under as the youth groups from both religions coordinated with security forces in the city of Gondar.
Desalegne Tassew added that security forces are instructed to take serious measures against anyone interested in restoring chaos in the city.
The region’s communication affairs have issued a statement regarding the development but it did not give more details about the incident that turned out to be bigger to the point of disrupting the security situation in the city – which is said to be targeted for a long time now by forces who intend to bring about a security problem in the city.
The statement from the Amhara region sees an incident in Gondar as part of multifaceted internal and external attempts to attack the Amhara people.
It called on residents of Gonder to be watchful and stand on guard of peace and stability in the city.
Ethiopian Muslims have been organising street Iftar events, religious in nature, in many cities across Ethiopia and a considerable number of Ethiopians from outside the Islamic faith have attended these events.
For many Ethiopians, from a conversation on social media platforms, the street Iftar events represented success stories viewed from the trajectory further enhancing the move to end the religious divide that could lead to the political problem in the country.
In recent years, authorities have been reporting sized illegal trade in fire arms in the region.
Ethiopia has been experiencing challenges due to groups aspiring to radicalise ethnic and religious differences in the country.
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