AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Investigation continue into the murder of 4 Orthodox monks of the historic Ziquala monastery in Oromia

Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - Investigations continue to identify the culprits of the tragic attack on the historic monastery of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) in Ziquala, Oromia, last Tuesday, February 20.
In a statement released on Thursday, February 22, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church accused "armed militants" of breaking into the monastery and kidnapping and murdering four monks. The victims are Teklemariam Asrat, Kidane Mariam Tilahun, Gebremaryam Abebe and Hailemariam Woldesenbet. A fifth monk, Kidanemariam Gebresenbet, survived although he was injured in the attack. In the statement, the Orthodox Church expressed deep concern for the security of its religious heritage and monastic community and called on federal and regional security authorities to provide protection.
The 12th-century Ziquala Monastery is one of the most important monasteries in the Oromo region, 50 km from Addis Ababa. The Orthodox Church has not commented on the perpetrators of the attack, but local press reports said the monastery was attacked by a group of gunmen linked to the Oromo rebel groups. The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) called for an independent investigation into the killings, saying that the Oromia regional government and the federal government "should stop covering up these criminal acts and open their respective files to an independent investigation."
The OLF condemns all types of killings of innocent civilians, "whoever commits them," and condemns "human rights violations against civilians, public figures, religious leaders, women, men, youth and the elderly." The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the armed wing of the OLF, which is accused of being the perpetrator of the attack, has not yet commented on the killings and the resulting accusations made by Oromia security against it. (AP/GF) (Agenzia Fides, 27/2/2024)