Ethiopia reportedly deported a radical ethnic Tigray nationalist clergy of episcopal rank. Aba Sereqebirhan Weldesamuel, who lives in Australia, was detained this week upon arrival at Bole International Airport.
He was in the country to take part in what the Ethiopian church called an illegal ordination of the episcopate – which is expected to happen in Axum this Sunday.
Reports from local sources indicate that Aba Sereqebirhan was one of the episcopates to be appointed. He was meant to be sent to Australia as Bishop for the new Patriarchate that Tigray region is establishing in the Tigray region – breaking away from the Ethiopian Church-, a process many tend to see as the harbinger of the secession of Tigray.
Aba Sereqebirhan was detained for three days at Bole International after he reportedly refused to return to where he came from. He insisted that he should be allowed to travel to Mekelle, the seat of the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Tigray T.V. on Saturday confirmed that Aba Sereqebirhan was deported on Friday night. However, the flight is to India instead of Australia. It is unclear if he is connecting to Australia or he was just sent to India.
Furthermore, the source added that he was boarded on ET 686 – Delhi bound Ethiopian Airlines Flight that took off from Addis Ababa on Saturday. Ethiopian authorities have not yet confirmed it, and no statement was released regarding the incident.
Aba Sereqebirhan was prominent for releasing radical and hateful viral video messages urging ethnic Tigreans to cut ties ( in all its forms) with Ethiopia.
This Sunday four Archbishops in the Tigray region are ordaining episcopates despite the Ethiopian church condemning the action as something that violates the canons of the Ethiopian church. The Holy Synod has called on the Ethiopian government to enforce law in the region by not allowing the Archbishops carry out the ordination.
Public opinion in Ethiopia, as expressed on social media, indicates that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is behind the decision of the Archbishops, who are justifying their actions with what they think is silence of the Ethiopian Church during the two years war between the TPLF and the Federal government of Ethiopia.
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