Grief Mixes With Anger Over Christian Ethiopian Deaths

Relatives of the victims attended a rally at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

The New York Times

By Jacey Fortin

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — In a downtrodden neighborhood called Cherkos, not far from the headquarters of the African Union, an olive-green tent stands as a tangible symbol of this nation’s grief.

Two bereft families have gathered under its shade to mourn the loss of Eyasu Yikunoamlak and Balcha Belete, Ethiopian migrants who were killed in Libya by militants claiming to represent the Islamic State.

“Eyasu was a good person who just wanted to make money to help our mother, who is very sick,” said the victim’s brother, Seyoum Yikunoamlak, as women in black scarves wailed around him. “He was a follower of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and that is why they slaughtered him.”

Mr. Seyoum said he had helped his brother pay $4,400 to a smuggler for an illegal journey to Italy. But on Sunday, a video surfaced online revealing that his brother was among about 30 people who appeared to have been shot or beheaded by masked militants in Libya. The Ethiopian government is trying to determine how many were Ethiopian citizens.

The killings are the latest warning to Ethiopians seeking passage to foreign countries for economic opportunity.

People trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea risk drowning en route, as happened just days ago when a boat carrying hundreds capsized off the Libyan coast.

Ethiopians traveling to the Middle East for work have faced mistreatment, mass deportations or, as in Yemen, outbreaks of war.

Immigrants to South Africa have endured a surge of xenophobic attacks this month.

Read more at The New York Times »

Related:
Candlelight Vigil for Ethiopian ISIL Victims to be Held in NY & Photos From DC (Tadias)
Denver’s Ethiopian Community Mourns Countrymen Killed by Islamic State (The Denver Post)
Addressing Ethiopia’s Migrant Crisis (Tadias)
Ethiopian Mass Protest Against IS Killings (BBC News)
Anti-ISIL rally turns violent in Ethiopia (AlJazeera)
Ethiopian police tear-gas crowds protesting against Libya killings (Reuters)
Protest held in Ethiopia over killings by Islamic extremists (AP)
Ethiopians struggle to come to terms with beheadings of compatriots in Libya (Reuters)
Ethiopians Shocked by Islamic State Killings (AP)
Ethiopia in Mourning for Victims of Islamic State Violence (BBC)
Ethiopia Declares 3 Days of Mourning for Citizens Killed by Islamic State in Libya (VOA)
Ethiopia Condemns Purported Executions in Libya of Christians (AFP)
Video: Islamic State kills Ethiopian Christians in Libya (AP)
ISIS ‘executes’ Ethiopia Christians in Libya (Al-Arabiya‎)
ISIS Video Purports to Show Killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya (NY Times)

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