By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) Over thirteen houses and business centres possessed by Orthodox Christians were gutted down by fire set deliberately in Hadiya and Siltie Diocese, Qibet Town of Silte Zone, manager of the diocese, Melake-Hiwot Nigussie disclosed here yesterday.
The residential houses of Town’s officials who opposed the attack were also burnt down by the extremists, the manager said.
The manager of the Diocese, Melake-Hiwot Nigussie said in a telephone interview he gave to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Television that there was a “religious motivated” attack perpetrated against the Orthodox laity in Hadiya and Siltie Dioses, Qibt Town of Silte Zone.
Melake-Hiwot said that months back a campaign of insult and threatening for attack were conducted using a big amplifier against Orthodox Christians for their alleged act of spell (black art) that allegedly made people pass out in Tibet Town of Siltie Zone. Orthodox Christians were also sidelined from using the Bajaj transport in the stated area, according to the manager.
The Diocese of Hadiya and Silte and the South African Archbishop Abune Hiriyacos, had talked and exchanged letters with Regional and Zonal officials so that the issue would not lead to conflicts and thereby inflict human loss. However, the extremists burnt down in Qibet Town over 13 residential houses and business institutions possessed by Orthodox Christians by blocking the main road that takes them to Buta-Jirra and Hosanna, Melake-Hiwot Nigussie told EOTC TV through telephone.
The road has not been opened yet till the time of writing this report and there has been an attack on the security members of the Region and the Zone that happened to be there to open the road, the manager of the Diocese, Melake-Hiwot Nigussie said.
The manager further said that when the number of the security force is reduced, the attacks show a tendency to recur. He said that although the attackers have been advised to refrain from their evil actions, no change has so far been observed and there is a fear that the attacks will spread.
The manager said that government officials who have been dismayed over issues of own benefit probably meddled in the affair. He also called on the Regional and Federal Governments to give due attention to the issue before it is spread.
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