Tag Archives: Christians

Central Africa signs peace deal

Central African Republic concluded a peace deal with 14 armed groups on following two weeks of talks in Khartoum, Sudan.

The peace deal was announced by the African Union but the terms were not immediately released.

Central African Republic has been tormented by violence since 2013 when Selaka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize, stirring conflict between Muslim and Christian militias. United Nations peacekeepers were deployed in 2014, however their numbers were not sufficient to end the ongoing violence.

 

Bomb explosion at Cairo Coptic Church

A policeman perished, while attempting to defuse a bomb outside a Coptic Christian church in Egypt, security officials said.

Late Mustafa Abid was reportedly a specialist in mine clearance. The explosion injured two other officers and one pedestrian.

The device was hidden in a bag on a roof by the church in Nasr City outside Cairo.

Coptic Christmas is celebrated on January 7, following non-recognition of the canon of the Catholic Church (1582) Gregorian calendar reform.

Egypt Coptic Christian attack as “reminder” of security challenges

Today’s attack on a bus of Coptic Christian pilgrims in Minya, Egypt has again exacted a toll of civilian deaths and injuries. It is a stark reminder of the security challenges that Egypt is facing” – the European External Action Service spokesperson said.

Our thoughts  are with the victims and their families. The European Union expresses its condolences to the bereaved, and stands side by side with Egypt in its efforts to defeat terrorism in the country” – she added.

Islamic radicals ambushed a bus carrying Christian pilgrims on their way to a remote desert monastery south of Cairo, killing at least seven and wounding 12, the Egypt Interior Ministry said.

Coptic Orthodox Church spokesman Bouls Halim said the death toll is likely to rise. Local church officials in Minya province where the attack took place informed about dead and seriously wounded, some injuries were not compatible with life.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, however it bore the hallmarks of Islamic State (ISIS) militants who have been fighting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula and along Egypt‘s porous desert border with Libya.

Minya province attack is the second to target pilgrims heading to the St. Samuel the Confessor monastery after  previous raid in May 2017 left nearly 30 people dead.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, said the attackers used secondary dirt roads to reach the bus carrying the pilgrims, who were near the monastery at the time of the attack. The attack last year was the latest in a deadly series that targeted churches in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta. Those attacks, all claimed by the Islamic State (Caliphate) militants, left at least a hundred dead and led to tighter security around Christian places of worship.

Egypt’s Christians, who account for some 10% of the country’s 100 million people, complain of discrimination in the Muslim majority country. The Coptic Church allied itself with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi when he, as defense minister, led the 2013 military overthrow of an Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

 

Buhari blames unnamed politicians for massacre in Plateau State

After violent clashes in central Nigeria between Muslim herders and Christian farmers, occuring during weekend media is citing police informing that 86 people were killed. The growing conflict between two groups has become deadlier than Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist insurgency.

Following the massacre Nigeria’s president in a statement accused unnamed politicians of taking advantage of the chaos ahead of next year’s elections, calling it “incredibly unfortunate.”

Dramatic footage showed people in rage waving machetes and sticks and shouting at passing security forces as they weaved around overturned and burning vehicles.

President Muhammadu Buhari warned against reprisal attacks after the “deeply unfortunate killings across a number of communities”, while the military, police and counterterror units were sent to end the bloodshed. “No efforts will be spared” to find the attackers, Buhari vowed.

Nigeria’s government said “scores” were killed but did not announce a death toll. The independent Channels Television cited a Plateau State police spokesman, Mathias Tyopev, as saying 86 people had been killed, with at least 50 houses destroyed.

Nigeria has a population of 180 million with 87 million people living in extreme poverty. Since 1999, farmer-herder violence has killed thousands of people and displaced tens of thousands more. It followed a trend in the increase of farmer-herder conflicts throughout much of the western Sahel.

Violence in Nigeria causes MEPs ‘deep concern’

The European Parliament expresses deep concern about the security situation in Nigeria. MEPs call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to:

  • address the increasing inter-ethnic violence between pastoral communities and farmers by negotiating a national policy framework protecting the interests of both groups,
  • step up the efforts to stop the attacks against Christian and Muslims,
  • provide psychosocial support to the victims of Boko Haram radicalisation,
  • reform the Nigerian state security forces and investigate abuses perpetrated by security officials, such as extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests, and
  • implement a moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to its abolition.

To reinforce their message MEPs ask the EU Commission and the European External Action Service to monitor the reintegration of Nigerian returnees from Libya, ensuring that the EU funding is spent effectively and keeping the European Parliament informed about the reintegration measures.

 

 

EU renews its support to Egypt

“The Christian Coptic community has been targeted once again in Egypt: dozens of worshippers travelling on a bus in Al Minya in Egypt have been killed today (26.05.2017). We share the pain of the families of the victims, to whom we send our condolences, and of the many wounded,” – says the statement of the European External Actions Service spokesperson.

“When religious communities are attacked, all religious communities, the whole human kind is attacked. The freedom of faith and the right to pray in safety are fundamental human rights and whoever violates these rights commits a crime against humanity,” – continues the EEAS statement.

“As European Union, we renew our support and commitment along the Egyptian authorities and the Egyptian people in the fight against terrorism and we expect those responsible must be brought to justice and held accountable.”