A video posted online Sunday shows ISIS militants beheading Ethiopian Christians in Libya, which is one of the main escape routes for immigrants fleeing the hardships and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.
Ethiopian police used force today to disperse demonstrators chanting “Where is our government?” in a neighborhood that was home to two of the men executed by ISIS.
According to a report by the website Addis Standard:
According Addis Standard’s reporters and informants on the scene, demonstrators were chanting emotional slogans, among others: “where is our government,” “justice for the dead,” “sovereignty is the safety of citizens everywhere in the world,” and “don’t tell us they are not ours,” the later in response to an earlier statement given by government spokesperson Redwan Hussien saying it was not clear if the victims were Ethiopians and that the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo was investigating the matter.
On Facebook, Mahlet Solomon wondered how the government can refuse to acknowledge the murder of its own citizens, when even the killers have said its victims were Ethiopians:
Every media outlet know they are Ethiopians. The killers said they are Ethiopians. It is only the
Ethiopian government that is denying its own citizens.
Another Facebook user, Mesky Feyissa, wasn't sure which was worse: the beheadings or the government's silence:
I don't know which one hurts the most
The White House released a statement condemning the killing of the Ethiopian Christians.
Oh EPRDF [the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front] you will rot in hell for this
Dæl Bereket lambasted his government and dismissed the state's efforts to shift the public's attention to evidence that the economy is growing:
But the Ethiopian officials are still on the phone trying to verify if the victims are Ethiopian citizens? wow just wow….i don't care if they are from Eritrea or Ethiopia but they are clearly Habeshas [Semitic Ethiopians]. Enough is enough! Nobody should care about stupid trains [referring to electrified light train in the capital] or double digit growth and shit. We need a government who puts the safety and wellbeing of its people first. More than 60000 our Tigrayan brothers and sisters died for the sake of our safety and freedom not to be beheaded and burnt alive by some extremists […]
Reacting to a statement by Ethiopian government spokesperson Redwan Hussein, who was quoted as saying, “If this is confirmed, it will be a warning to people who wish to risk and travel to Europe though the dangerous route,” Soli S. Gebremichael wrote:
he [government spokesperson] was trying to take advantage of the tragedy to talk about illegal migration ……………..unbelievably sad.
Samuel M. Gebru argued that the Ethiopian government should do more:
#Ethiopia should join the fight against #ISIS. Terrorism and instability are all around Ethiopia and the country must remain secure. I'm sure Prime Minister Hailemariam's government would have wide support if Ethiopia joined the coalition against ISIS as did #Egypt, #Jordan and others.
Mohammed O. Al-Dushy, meanwhile, blamed the media for not paying enough attention to the story:
Seems the life of a Japanese journalist or that of a Jordanian pilot is considered worth more than the lives of 28 Ethiopians. No media coverage whatsoever. Forget a world trending hashtag. Yes, just like there are fake news channels, there are fake social media activists.
Natnael Abera blamed both the local and international media:
Shame on the ‘Internal & International media’ coverage of the barbaric killing of 30 #Ethiopians by the #ISIS #EBC #BBCWorld #Ethiopianlivesmatter
Daniel and woyanes are busy fighting the “terrorists” known by the names of Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu [jailed Ethiopian bloggers and journalists]. Do you think they have time to fight ISIS and the Zulu barbarians???????? [reference to xenophobia related attacks in South Africa. Zulu is one of South Africa's main tribes]
Hallelujah Lulie, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, complained that Ethiopians aren't even permitted to demonstrate against ISIS.
Sad to live in a country where one
can't demonstrate & express anger even on ISIS,& mourn, remember &
honor the fallen #Ethiopia
Lulie (@halelule) April
Abdi Lemessa criticised the state media for its silence:
While #Ethiopia social media fora full of
grievances & outrage f/g ISIS barbarity, State media of all sorts loudly silent. The d/ce
— Abdi Lemessa (@Ab_Oli) April 20,
Endalk, an Ethiopian PhD student in the United States, described the sad situation some Ethiopians find themselves in:
It is deeply saddening when you are running
Mekdes Mz. shared a statement by a brother of one of the victims on a local radio station, Sheger, who said:
Eyasu has told his mother that he has been
— Mekdes Mz.
(@Mekmz) April 20,