Connect with us

Report

Hundreds reportedly dead after massacre at Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia

Published

on

At least 750 people are reported dead after an attack on an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, according to a European watchgroup.

On Jan. 9, the Europe External Programme with Africa reported that the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum, about 80 miles west of Adigrat, had been attacked, and that hundreds of people who hid inside were brought out to the front square and shot to death.

According to Church Times UK, the attack was carried out by Ethiopian government troops and Amhara militia from central Ethiopia. At least 1,000 people were estimated to be hiding in the church at the time of the attack.

Locals have said they believe the church was targeted by raiders of the lost ark. The church is thought to contain the original Ark of the Covenant, a sacred golden chest first mentioned in the book of Exodus that carried the 10 commandments, parts of sacred scripture, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna. They believed the attackers wanted to steal the Ark of the Covenant and take it to the capital city of Addis Ababa, the Church Times reported. This ark is guided by a single priest who never leaves the compound, and it is not allowed to be seen by anyone else, so whether it is really the true Ark has been debated by historians for centuries.

ALSO READ:   DR Congo militia kills at least 12 in new attack

The church belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an Oriental Orthodox Church that is estimated to have about 36 million members. Tigray has been the site of the Tigray War since November of last year. In the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, the regional government is run by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The group once dominated the ruling coalition of Ethiopia but felt marginalized by Prime Minister Abiy’s political changes after he took office in 2018. He dissolved the ruling coalition and merged its ethnicity-based regional parties into a single party, the Prosperity Party, which the TPLF refused to join.

ALSO READ:   Ebonyi youth razes police station accused of shielding murderous Fulani herders

Tigrayan leaders have said they were unfairly targeted by political purges and allegations of corruption. They have argued that Abiy’s postponement of national elections due to coronavirus have ended his mandate as a legitimate leader, BBC News reported.

On Nov. 4 Abiy announced a military offensive in response to an alleged attack on a military base in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. The prime minister aims to arrest the regional government heads and to destroy its military arsenal.

Thousands of people are estimated to have been killed on both sides of the conflict. Each side blames the other for the conflict, and it is difficult to confirm their claims, the Associated Press has said. Tigray’s communications have been almost completely cut off, and journalists were reportedly not allowed in the area where the church attack took place.

ALSO READ:   Nigeria's first lady Aisha Buhari goes into exile amid rumors of her husband's death

Pope Francis and the Catholic bishops of the region called for peace and dialogue as the conflict worsened in November. According to the U.N., tens of thousands have fled the Tigray region for Sudan after the outbreak of the war.

Report

Ivory Coast police rescue 68 children working on cocoa farms

Published

on

By

FILE PHOTO: A farmer prepares to cut cocoa pods at a cocoa farm in Agboville, Ivory Coast April 24, 2017. REUTERS/LUC GNAGO

Police in Ivory Coast have rescued 68 children working on cocoa farms, most of whom were trafficked from neighbouring Burkina Faso, authorities said.

The West African country is the world’s top cocoa producer and has close to 1 million children working in the sector despite years of efforts to end child labour.

At a care centre in the southwestern region of Soubre, one of the rescued children told Reuters his father had brought him from Burkina Faso at the age of 13 to work on his uncle’s cocoa plantation and had left him there.

“I’ve been working in cocoa for two years, since I arrived in Ivory Coast,” said the shy Nounfo, who was found by the police splitting open cocoa pods with a machete.

ALSO READ:   Fulani bandits kill seven Nigerian soldiers in ambush

Police said Nounfo’s family links were not clear to the purported uncle who was among about 25 suspected traffickers arrested and now facing up to 10 years in prison.

The issue could weigh on exports to the European Union, which is considering new laws to ban the import of commodities linked to human rights abuses.

The operation involved around 100 police officers last Thursday and Friday and was the first since 2014 in Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt.

More action is hampered by a lack of funding, said Luc Zaka, a police commissioner in charge of the special unit on child labour.

ALSO READ:   Youth build 3.7km community road abandoned by govt in eastern Nigeria

“We lack the means to be more efficient and to achieve the expected results, but each time we are in the field we manage to save children and arrest suspects,” he said.

Brahima Coulibaly, a member of the national monitoring committee on child labour, said authorities will conduct operations in another region in a few months.

Continue Reading

Report

UGM: Governor imposes curfew from 7pm-6am in Rivers

Published

on

Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has imposed a new curfew aimed at curbing attacks on government forces by those described as “Unknown Gunmen (UGM).”

Seven policemen were killed last week Friday in a new attack by unidentified gunmen who had killed at least 12 government forces in attacks on police formations.

“As a further step towards enhancing our collective safety we have reviewed the existing night time curfew across the 23 Local Government Areas, which will now start from 7 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. until further notice from tomorrow 11th May 2021,” said Wike in a state-wide broadcast on Monday.

ALSO READ:   Fulani bandits kill seven Nigerian soldiers in ambush

The governor also ordered law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with any person or group who violates or attempts to violate the curfew.

Meanwhile, government forces blocked all roads leading to their facilities across the state, causing a traffic jam that left many people stranded and forced to walk a long distance before reaching their places of business and homes.

Continue Reading

Report

ISIS imposes taxes, recruit children in northern Nigeria

Published

on

"The Islamic State is plundering parts of Nigeria now, they manage to impose the Islamic tax of Zakāt at least in some regions at this point"

Images, posted on social media on Saturday, show members of the Islamic State terrorist group collecting taxes and recruiting children in northern Nigeria.

Children are recruited by terrorists under the guise of a humanitarian gesture by distributing them each N500 (five hundred naira), as well as food, shows images posted on Twitter by Pieter Van Ostaeyen, a Belgium reporter, analyst and historian.

“The Islamic State is plundering parts of Nigeria now, they manage to impose the Islamic tax of Zakāt at least in some regions at this point,” Ostaeyan said in Saturday’s report, which confirmed reports that earlier claimed that ISIS had infiltrated Nigeria.

The United States, alongside others, had said that Islamic State was trying to infiltrate the oil-rich African country already being ravaged by Boko Haram, ISWAP and Fulani herders.

ALSO READ:   Youth intercept 25 armed men in southwestern Nigeria
Continue Reading

MOST POPULAR

© 2021 GAZETTE AFRICA | Africa's #1 indigenous independent media, providing unbiased reporting and analysis on Africa and the world.