Center for the Rights of Ethiopian women (CREW) strongly condemns the brutal murder of Ethiopian Christians in Libya and the recent xenophobic attacks of Ethiopians and other African migrants in South Africa.
Thirty Ethiopians were brutally murdered by ISIS in Libya. Half of them were beheaded at a Libyan shoreline and the other half were shot dead in southern Libya, hundred miles from the shores. The released video showing the mass brutal killing refers to victims as those “belonging to hostile Ethiopian Church.” The video concludes by saying that Christians will not be safe unless they embrace Islam or pay protection money.
In other tragedies facing Ethiopian migrants, Ethiopians and other fellow Africans are savagely attacked and brutally murdered in xenophobic acts in South Africa. In Yemen, thousands of Ethiopians are stranded and unable to leave the war-torn country. Among these are hundreds of women and children. Hundreds of Ethiopian migrants are drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach European shores.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. The gap between the haves and the have-nots have widened extremely. The so-called double-digit growth has not changed the lives of millions of poor Ethiopians. The economy is in the hands of the few who control the wealth of the country. Hopeless young people, men and women, are forced to leave their country due to political persecution, poverty and lack of economic opportunity in their home country. Human traffickers exploit the migrants during their journey to their country of destination. Once they reach their destination, their employers’ abuse, torture or sexually assault them. However, Ethiopians continue leaving their country with the hope of working in other countries to help themselves and their families.
The Ethiopian government has repeatedly failed its responsibility to provide protection to its citizens abroad. Instead, it constantly condemns Ethiopian migrants for leaving their country. Regarding the Libyan massacre, the Ethiopian government and its media did not initially acknowledge the recent victims of ISIS were Ethiopians and announced the news after other international medias did. On April 19, the day of the massacre, the news did not even get front-page coverage at Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC). On April 22, when protestors in Addis Ababa, who went to the streets to show their mourning and anger about the brutal murder of their compatriots, expressed their frustrations and anger about the indifference of the government they were brutally attacked by the police. This shows the government’s refusal to listen to the plight of its own citizens.
CREW urges all Ethiopians to stand together in unity and condemn such inhuman actions by extremists in Libya and South Africa. CREW appeals to the global community to support the Ethiopian migrants who are stranded in Libya and are under constant threat from ISIS and those who are struggling to come out of Yemen. We demand the Ethiopian government to scale up its efforts to save Ethiopians and assume full responsibility to help its citizens who are in critical and dangerous situation in Libya, South Africa and Yemen.
CREW would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of the victims who were killed in Libya and South Africa. We show our solidarity with Ethiopian mothers who are grieving their children’s death. Ethiopian mothers have shade their tears for the last four decades because of the deaths of their children due to wars, political turmoil, poverty and human rights abuses.
Finally, CREW appeals to all Ethiopians to be calm and reflect on the situation. We have a rich legacy of tolerance among different religions in our country. Ethiopia is a country where Muslim and Christian population lived harmoniously for centuries. From what we heard on the media, Muslim Ethiopians are protecting their Christian brothers and sisters in Libya. Such an extraordinary solidarity should be an example to the world.
CREW will work hard to strengthen its advocacy for the rights of our migrant sisters and brothers. May the souls of those who are innocently murdered rest in Eternal Peace.
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, peace and human rights organization created to promote the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide.