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Ethiopia Brings Criminal Charges Against Members of Radical Islamic Group

February 2, 2009 Ethiopia (International Christian Concern) – On January 21, 2009, Ethiopian officials brought criminal charges against 18 members of a radical Islamic group known as Kwarej. Ethiopian authorities indicated that the 18 violated article 539 (1) A of the Ethiopian Penal Code by organizing Muslim youth and arming them to carry out terrorist activities.

According to a report by the Ethiopian weekly newspaper, Addis Adams, the public prosecutor further noted that Islamists had been teaching their followers not to pay tax to the secular government of Ethiopia and not to abide by man-made laws of the country. The radicals advocated for the formation of an Islamic state in Ethiopia where both Christians and Muslims would be subjected to the Quran and Hadith.

Among those currently detained by authorities is Mukrem Gedu, a man that has been identified as the leader of the radical group.

The newspaper cited the federal public prosecutor as stating that the 18 organized 80 more militants and provided them with bombs as well as other military hardware. The militants were then instructed to carry out terrorist activities in the country. Members of the group were active in the provinces of Wollo, West Wellega , Assosa, Silte and Jimma. These are provinces where Christians usually face persecution from radical Islamists. In 2006 alone, widespread attacks by Islamic extremists against Christians in the provinces of Jimma, West Wellega and Illubabor caused the deaths of 13 Christians, the destruction of 40 churches and dozen of homes and properties belonging to Christians, and the displacement of Christians from their homes.

In the press release published on November 20, 2008, ICC reported about Kwarej and its violence against Christians. (See: /suffering/pressdetail.php?presscode=251)

ICC’s Regional Manger for Africa , Jonathan Racho, stated that, “We commend the Ethiopian officials for bringing charges against the radical Islamists. Ethiopian officials should continue to go after the Islamists that perpetrated violence against innocent Christians.

Please pray for Ethiopian Christians who live in Muslim dominated areas of the country. These Christians are routinely persecuted by radical Muslims.

Please call Ethiopian embassies in your countries and politely ask the Ethiopian officials to continue to protect Christians from the harassment, discrimination and other forms of persecution they are facing from members of the radical Muslim groups.

Ethiopian Embassies:






(202) 364-1200

[email protected]


+44(0)20 7589 7212

+44(0)20 7584 7054

[email protected]




[email protected]




[email protected]