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News: Evangelical Church condemns killing of dozens of its worshipers in East, West Wollega, expresses dismay on government

Addis Abeba- The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus has condemned what it said was indiscriminate killing by armed group of its members at Muleta Gela congregation, in Galo kebele of East Wollega Zone in Oromia Regional state.

Earlier, the same church has said that more than a dozen members of the church including leaders and servants were also killed by a drone strike in Medni town, West Wollega.

In a statement it issued on Friday 11 November, the church listed the names of 15 victims who were killed in an attack that was carried out on Sunday, 06 November, while members of the church were gathered for prayer. The Church has extended its condolences to the family of the deceased and members of the church.

“The perpetrators are armed people not familiar in the area,” the statement noted.

Furthermore, the church has expressed its dismay on government security forces who it accused of neither preventing the tragedy nor investigating it to bring the culprits to justice.

“It is the duty of the government to shield civilians under any circumstances,” the statement emphasized, “if the government remains silent while civilians are subjected to slaughters, whether it shoulders its responsibility [to protect civilians] is be questionable.” The Church added that the government has not only failed to take actions but also to acknowledge the tragedy itself. The church ascertained from survivors that the attack was not attributed to security-related cases, indicating victims were civilians.

With regard to the victims of the drone strike in Medni town, West Wollega the Church said that was “aware of the fact that around 14 members of the church, leaders and servants…have fallen victim of drone attacks in Mendi town while going back home from service.”

On Wednesday, 9 November at least 20 civilians were killed by drone strike in Mendi town, in Mana Sibu district of West Wellaga Zone, Oromia Region. A week early on 02 November more than 60 people, including a grade 11 student, were killed in the same attack. It was preceded by another drone strike on 23 October that killed at least 68 civilians in Ofu Bekke village of Chobi district in West Showa zone.

The church urged the Ethiopian government to resolve the conflicts in Oromia peacefully. AS

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