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:   Video shows ESN enforcing ban on open grazing in Delta

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:   Nigeria: Task Force demolishes Fulani settlement in Abuja

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:   Turkey 'strongly condemns' deadly attack in Burkina Faso

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

Markets, roads closed in southeast Nigeria in solidarity with Kanu

Published

on

Cemetery market in Aba, Abia State

Residents of south-eastern Nigeria have closed markets and some entry points into cities in solidarity with Biafran pro-independence leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is now before the Federal High Court in Abuja for trial.

Some international markets in Abia, Onitsha, Nnewi and others, including entry points to some cities, were closed in the early hours of Monday July 26, 2021.

The separatist leader who had fled to Israel in 2017 when his home was raided by soldiers who killed many civilians in an attempt to assassinate him, faces charges of treason and other unfounded crimes, for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.

Nnamdi Kanu

He was seized in Kenya and illegally repatriated to the Nigeria.

ALSO READ:   How Fulani militia killed at least 50 civilians in 6 Yoruba towns in three days
Continue Reading

Report

US citizens arrested in Nigeria for taking photos during Kanu’s trial

Published

on

Nigeria's Department of State Services personnel

ABUJA — Two foreigners suspected of being American journalists were arrested Monday July 26 in Nigeria for having taken photos on the eve of the trial of Biafran pro- independence leader Nnamdi Kanu.

According to the report, the two men were arrested by the country’s secret service — Department of State Services at a hotel, Treasure Suites, opposite the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

The Peoples Gazette reports that a phone belonging to another man in the hotel was seized by the DSS, who accuses him of following the trial of the separatist leader from the hotel.

ALSO READ:   Catholic Bishop Kukah risks assassination following threats from Nigerian Muslims groups

“They even entered the hotel and got the manager to show them their CCTV footage to be able to locate one of the men and seized his phone,” a police officer told Peoples Gazette at the scene.

The Nigerian had announced banned on international and other media from covering the trial of Mr. Kanu in court.

A statement signed by Chief Information Officer, Catherine Oby Christopher on Monday noted that the DSS has only accredited 10 Nigerian media organizations, namely: ThisDay, Premium Times, The Nation, Daily Independent, The Herald, National Television Authority , Continental Television, African Independent Television, Daily Post and Channels Television.

ALSO READ:   British Armed Forces Minister visits Nigeria as military declare war on IPOB, ESN

No reason was given by authorities who refused to comment on the sudden violation of press freedom and citizens’ rights to monitor a trial.

Nnamdi Kanu, human rights activist is currently being held in the Nigeria’s Department of State Services detention center in Abuja after being seized in Kenya and illegally repatriated to the country.

The separatist leader who had fled to Israel in 2017 when his home was raided by soldiers who killed many civilians in an attempt to assassinate him, faces charges of treason and other unfounded crimes, for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.

ALSO READ:   Eritrean troops killed hundreds of Ethiopian civilians in Axum — Amnesty
Continue Reading

Report

Man accused of trying to kill Mali president dies in custody

Published

on

By

Goita was whisked away by his security detail, and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing "very well", downplaying the significance of the assault.

A man accused of trying to kill Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, the figure behind two coups in less than a year, has died in custody, the government said on Sunday.

The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, had been taken into custody following the assassination attempt at Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday.

“During investigations… his health deteriorated” and he was then hospitalised, but “unfortunately, he has died,” the government said in a statement.

It added that an autopsy had been immediately ordered to determine the cause of death.

A man armed with a knife lunged at Goita after prayers for Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Goita was whisked away by his security detail, and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing “very well”, downplaying the significance of the assault.

ALSO READ:   Scientists find a mysterious 'Ghost Lineage' in the DNA of West Africans

“That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents,” he said.

“There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability.”

His attacker, a young-looking man dressed in jeans and a white shirt, was apprehended at the scene and taken away by the Malian intelligence services.

The suspect was never presented to judicial authorities, a source requesting anonymity told AFP on Sunday.

His identity was not revealed, but commissioner Sadio Tomoda said late Tuesday that he was a teacher, without elaborating.

Prosecutors had opened an inquiry into the incident.

On Sunday, the government said the suspect’s death was not an obstacle to continuing the investigation, “especially since preliminary evidence and intelligence gathered indicate that he was not an isolated element”.

ALSO READ:   Chan 2021: Explosions at Limbe stadium days before Tanzania opener - Reports

– Political instability –

The attack capped months of political turmoil in a country that has rarely enjoyed stability since gaining independence from France in 1960.

Goita, a special forces colonel in his late thirties, headed a putsch last August that ousted elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of protests over graft and a bloody jihadist insurgency.

The junta, in the face of international condemnation, handed power to a civilian-led transitional government that promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022.

But in late May, Goita, who was vice president in the transitional government, ousted president Bah Ndaw and premier Moctar Ouane, saying they had sought to “sabotage” the handover.

In June, with Goita as interim president, a new government was unveiled, with military figures in key roles.

As the African Union and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS piled on pressure, Goita vowed the government would uphold all commitments and pledged to stage “credible, fair and transparent elections”.

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

Mali’s neighbours and allies have been viewing the crisis with disquiet, fearing the impact on efforts to stem a jihadist insurgency that is unfurling across the Sahel region.

The bloody campaign erupted in the north of Mali in 2012, and has since spread to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

France, the mainstay of the anti-jihadist operation, has been especially critical of the military takeover in Mali.

It suspended military cooperation after the second coup and then announced a major drawdown of its 5,100-man Barkhane mission.

Continue Reading

MOST POPULAR

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