Ethiopian Orthodox Church says investigation underway into Debre-Elias monastery unrest – Mereja


The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) disclosed on Thursday evening it has begun investigation into recent unrest in Debre-Elias monastery located in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region. 

In a press statement, the EOTC Patriarchate Head Office, said its conducting detailed investigation into the “problem” that happened in the Debre-Elias Melake-Trinity Unity monastery located in the East Gojjam zone of Amhara region. 

The statement further said its office is currently having conversation with relevant entities regarding the recent deadly unrest in the monastery. 

the EOTC Patriarchate Head Office statement also expressed condolences to the victims of an attack on Dera-Amanuel Church located in the Arsi diocese of the EOTC. 

The church statement also said it plans to follow legal routes to find justice for the Dera-Amanuel Church attack victims.

The attack by gunmen on Dera-Amanuel Church which happened on Sunday evening left four people dead including two priests. Two other people including a 12-year-old girl were kidnapped in the attack.

Separately, sources disclosed that Ethiopian army soldiers are looting precious artifacts from Debre-Elias Melake-Trinity Unity monastery.

The sources also said soldiers have destroyed monks’ restrooms, the monastery’s cattle, crosses and holy books.

On Wednesday, the Amharic language service of Deutsche Welle (DW) media outlet reported scores of people have been killed in clashes between security forces and EOTC faithful in Debre-Elias district of East Gojjam zone.

The clashes which were centered in a local monastery have left around 95 percent of the estimated 600 people who used to live in the monastery dead, injured or dispersed, DW reported citing eyewitnesses. 

DW further reported eyewitnesses have told it of use of heavy weaponry in the clashes by security forces. 

The Ethiopian government and the Amhara region administration are so far silent on the recent clashes in the Debre-Elias district of East Gojjam zone of Amhara region. 


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