In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Notice from Mahibere Kidusan about the attack on Christians in the Oromia Region

Mahibere Kidusan necessitate in issuing this notice in reminding the Government about the Ethiopian Orthodox Incarnation Church of the recent attack on Christians in the Oromia Regional State by the Regional Government’s Communication Bureau and to reconsider the association’s position. In a statement on the attack on the Orthodox Christians, Holy Church stated the truth as:-

“Only Orthodox Christians, were brutally beaten; cut down with their swords, have fallen by the sword; were cut down with saws; beaten with rods and stoned to death; their corpses were dragged through the streets; their body parts, which had been lying around for days, was eaten by animals. Women were raped in front of their children, fathers and husbands; The wealth they fret earning for years, was looted and destroyed, and the rest of the gas was spilled and burned; Many were displaced and forced to spend the winter in the Church’s cemeteries and halls, in various government institutions and in private homes; They have suffered serious social and psychological crises.”

The atrocities that took place in a country where there is law and order and endangered the lives of citizens are not only heard but also witnessed. In spite of this fact, we find that the statement issued by the Regional Communication Bureau is very sad and does not take into account the damage. As a result of the disaster, Mahibere Kidusan wrote letters to the Prime Minister’s Office, the security forces and the regional administration, warning that the Christians in their homes were at risk of starvation. Mahibere Kidusan executed this action realizing no better option than the government structure to deliver even the daily food. Surprisingly, the government did not respond to any of the questions. We learned from the media that a delegation led by the head of the Regional Administration had left the area delaying and some had fled their homes, However, we would appreciate and admire if the government’s efforts to address their concerns, even if it is too late.

However, the response from the Oromia Regional State Communication Bureau to the statement made by the Office of the Archdiocese of Patriarch, the governing body of our Church, concerns us of its commitment to understand the problem and provide a lasting solution. This is because the activities of the lower echelons of government are seen and felt by those above them. However, the fact that senior government officials did not make any statements about the victims, did not indicate that they were involved; Such a statement by the responsible body is still a misunderstanding of the structure of the government and the solution to the problems can be considered to some extent. We fear that such a cover-up could be used to prevent further attacks in the future. We have to reiterate our call for the government to pay more attention to ending the suffering of the people and to save the people from disaster.

The fact that the problem is huge and deep, that the attacks are well-organized and coordinated shows that the persecution of Christians in every region in the last two years alone, especially in the Oromia Regional State, is increasing more than ever. Although the attack may take two forms, but it can be seen from the historical process and the strategic times and circumstances that have been chosen to carry out the attack that it is aimed at Christians and is part of a campaign to rid the area of ​​Christianity. When we look at the reasons why Christians have suffered so much over the past thirty years, we find that they are based on the movement for change. In 1983 and 84, he followed the political narrative of the change of government in 1983. Thousands of Christians were brutally murdered in Hararge and Arusi; Wealth has been confiscated; they were displaced and displaced.

Influences on Christians have continued since then, but in 2004. He blamed the political turmoil in the country following the election between 2005 and 2006. There have been massacres, displacements, destruction of property, and arson in Christians in Harar, Arusi, Jimma, Illubabor, and Welega. Christians were attacked again during the 2009 and 2010 elections. Since then, the extent and extent of the damage has varied, but he has continued to persecute Christians, particularly in Hararge, Arsina and Bale. It is not hard to see, however, that what has happened in the last two years is different in type and scope of the attacks so far. July 28, 2017 Since the attack in the Somali region, there have been horrific attacks in various parts of Oromia, as well as in some parts of the SNNPR. On July 11, 2018, with the exception of a series of attacks in Sidama Zone and Silte Zone, the Oromia Regional State was the scene of a series of atrocities. The tragic and large-scale attacks that took place in October, January and June this year in Burao and Legatafo around Addis Ababa are noteworthy.

To understand the similarities of the attacks, look at the attacks of the last 29 years:

  1. The use of political turmoil and transitions as a cover is one indication. From the 1990 coup d’état to the 2004 election, and from the post-election unrest to the assassination of the artist Hachalu, every opportunity has been taken to clean up the area, killing and expelling Christians. This indicates that there is a body that is carefully working, planning and executing to provide adequate coverage for the attack.
  2. All-language Christians are targeted in all attacks. Muslims and non-Orthodox Ethiopians, who speak almost any language, have not been attacked in any way, except by accidentally joining or trying to save Christians. Others were injured for two reasons. One is when the defense or security forces try to stop the problem, and the second is when there are people who have joined or burned down a Christian building, as in Shashemene. Other than that, we have not been targeted. This shows that a radical force that does not represent Muslims and Christians, who have lived in love and solidarity for centuries, is targeting Christians.
  3. Christian women are raped in many cases; Violence in 1990 and 2001 and around Jimma forced women to become rapists.
  4. We have noted the existence of so-called extremist Islamic groups in some areas. For example, Christians say they were attacked by the Islamic extremist group Jara in the 1983/4 attack in Arusi.
  5. In many areas, the perpetrators not only defended themselves but also falsely accused and imprisoned Christians because they had accomplices in government structures.
  6. Although some have tried to portray the attack on the Oromia Regional State as ethnic, Oromo-speaking Christians have been victims since 1990. October and June 2019 Special Profiles of Attacks:
  • They are attacks targeting strong Christians everywhere.
  • Government security forces did not attempt to prevent attacks on Christians;
  • The involvement of those in power in the attack on the use of public resources;
  • In many areas, government officials are complicit in the crime;
  • Arresting Christians who died after the attack, seeking excuses.
  • Arresting all those who tried to protect themselves and others;

These repeated attacks in each area indicate that they were planned and carried out, but after the accident:

  • There is no government structure to provide even daily food to the victims;
  • Government efforts to rehabilitate IDPs are unsatisfactory;
  • That the government did not show remorse for the attack, that the statements made would aggravate the problem and reduce the victim’s trust in the government and increase the risk; The government’s attempt to intimidate those who report the incident to the international community has made the government an accomplice.

Therefore, the government must realize the seriousness of the problem and fulfill its responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens. We would like to remind you that it is important to answer the following questions as soon as possible.

Therefore, the government:

  1. First and foremost, to publicly condemn the act and stand by the victims;
  2. To ensure the safety of the injured persons by providing appropriate comfort, reassurance and hope by visiting the injured persons;
  3. Provide temporary assistance to those in need;
  4. To take appropriate action for the loss of life and property due to the involvement of the parties in the attack;
  5. To bring to justice all those involved in the attack and to bring to justice all other teachers;
  6. We urge senior government officials to refrain from acting as if they were advocating for the victims and those who did not fulfill their responsibilities, rather than for the victims.

In general, the Church is concerned that the destruction will continue, and it urges the government to take a strong stand. Therefore, we respectfully request that the government intensify its efforts to rehabilitate, protect and guarantee the safety of the victims by recognizing the problem and preventing further damage. We express our readiness to rehabilitate our people and to provide whatever support is needed.

But we would like to point out that if the government, as it has so far ignored the problem and failed to fulfill its responsibilities to protect the rights of its citizens, has betrayed Orthodox Christians on purpose, it may lead us to believe that all Orthodox Christians are being pressured to use other alternatives.

May God help us!

The 13th Month (Pagumen) 2, 2012