News: Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs denounces security forces attack on mosque, believers



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Partial view of Abdulqadir Mosque. Photo: EPA

Mahlet Fasil

Addis Ababa, April 17, 1919 – The office of the Supreme Council for Ethiopian Islamic Affairs, Addis Ababa, denounced the security forces' attack on the mosque and worshipers of Abdulqadir inside the mosque located at Akaki Kifle Ketema, Wereda 08, on the southern outskirts of Addis Ababa.

At least nine people, including women and children, who were inside the mosque were injured and hospitalized when security forces entered the Abdulqadir mosque, according to journalist Akmel Negash.

The security forces were there to demolish what they said was "illegal construction". However, in a statement released yesterday afternoon, the Addis Abeb City Administration's office distanced itself by saying that the action was taken "without management's knowledge."

Sheikh Abdulaziz Wegu, chairman of the Supreme Council for Ethiopian Islamic Affairs, told the Ethiopian news agency that the mosque Abdulqadir has been providing services for more than 20 years. But three years ago, she requested extra land to expand her services, a request that has not yet been approved by the relevant authorities. Part of the reason is due to Akaki Kifle Ketema, request from Wereda office 08 to obtain the plot of land that Mesquita has already requested for its expansion work to meet the growing number of faithful in the area. The matter was being handled by the city administration. However, security forces have entered what they accused of illegally building an extension on the plot of land.

Sheikh Abdulaziz denied the allegation and said the mosque built nothing illegal because the matter was in the hands of the city's administration.

The city administration's statement also said that the city administration gave no order to Akaki Kifle Ketema, Werda 08, who runs the mosque and promised to take "corrective measures."

Muslims accuse the municipal administration of Addis Ababa of demolishing three more mosques in the last year. In January of this year, a similar offensive in Omer Mosqu, located in Bole Arabsa, on the southeastern outskirts of Addis Ababa, resulted in several people being wounded by security forces who demolished the mosque they said was "built illegally." The deputy mayor of Addis Ababa went to the scene a few weeks later and said that the actions of the security forces were "inappropriate" and pledged to help rebuild the mosque. AS

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