Citizen reports emerging on social media indicate that Addis Ababa City Administration is suspending employees who were dressed in black in response to a call from the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church about two weeks ago.
The action was called a form of spiritual resistance to government interference in the affairs of the Church by way of supporting a splinter group from the Holy Synod.
It appears that the administration is now going after employees who were dressed in black.
A letter purportedly addressed to Beletu Zeleke and dated February 13, 2023 is circulating on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
The letter is written in Amharic and the translation partly reads like “…You have been assigned in the Legal and Technique Affairs Directorate in the ‘support, follow up and complaints’ division. However, you have been involved in an issue outside of the duty and responsibility you have. It is found necessary that you be suspended from your position and salary until the issue is looked at by the discipline committee. Accordingly, you have been suspended from work and salary as of February 13, 2023 based on Addis Ababa City Administration Public Service Act No 56/2010, Section 72 subsection 1. “
The letter is signed by the land administration office head, Khalid Nesredin Ahmed. (See letter that is circulating on social media)
Video footage of a woman who said that she was barred from her office as she appeared dressed in black for work. Borkena has learned that the administration does not have a dress code in regard to colors.
Borkena has reached out, via the city’s website portal and an e-mail (the city contact email address provided on social media is a “Gmail” one, to the city administration requesting a remark on the claims of suspension in connection with dressing in black for religious reasons.
There are also unconfirmed reports that a member of the Federal Police who released a video criticizing the attack on Orthodox Christians and dressed in black removing his uniform is suspected.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been under recurring state and non-state actors’ attacks since Abiy Ahmed took office in April 2018.
The group that announced that it is split from the Holy Synod, on January 22 this year, is now returned after mediation by prominent figures (elders). The Prime Minister himself was involved in the “mediation” and he finally led the “lost sheep,” as he called them, to the patriarchate where they bowed to the His Holiness Abune Mathias only to disappear the next day without a trace in pursuit of the course they announced on June 22. They declared allegiance in less than 48 hours after they disappeared following stern action from the Patriarchate.
The Ethiopian government has been claiming that it has nothing to do with the division although the majority of Ethiopians, as demonstrated by social media users, tend to believe that the government was involved.
In fact, some tend to see the actions by Addis Ababa City Administration as the latest example to demonstrate government attack and undue pressure on the Ethiopian Church, one of the oldest churches as recorded in history.
To share information or for submission, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Telegram Channel : t.me/borkena