Ethiopia- Security-Religion

Ethiopia: First ever street Iftar in Addis Ababa dispersed

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Thousands of Muslims have been denied access to Mesqel square as they flocked there to hold the first ever street Iftar in Addis Ababa.

Police fired tear gas to stop participants marching to take part in what was planned as Africa’s biggest Iftar in which at least 10, 000 worshipers were expected to join last Sunday.

 Organizers of the Iftar said they had got permission from the Addis Ababa City Administration to hold the Iftar but police had blocked the venue.

 Videos and photos showing chaotic scenes from the event and the crackdown including security forces firing teargas at crowds flooded social media on Monday causing outrage and criticism from several leading Muslim activists.

 Halal Promotion Plc, one of the organizers of the event issued a statement explaining what unfolded. 

“Halal promotion and Nejashi humanitarian organization secured the required permission to hold the Grand Street Iftar in Ethiopia,” the statement, said adding that the coordinators of the event were asked by unidentified bodies in the government structure to change the venue of the event.

The Ethiopian capital is home to over 440, 000 Muslims, constituting some 16.2 percent of the city's population. 


MG/as/APA

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