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Ethiopia’s ancient Orthodox Church accuses PM Ahmed of interference over rebel bishops



A recent crisis that rocked Ethiopia’s ancient Orthodox Church where a group of “rebel bishops” broke away to form a new synod, has been blamed on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for interfering in the affairs of the Church, according to the church leadership.

The Church has been grappling with an internal crisis after the rebel clergy created the new synod in Oromia, the largest and most populous region in Ethiopia.

In a statement on Friday, the leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the country’s 115 million population, accused Ahmed of deliberately causing the crisis and encouraging the recalcitrant bishops by recognising the illegal group.

The patriarchate also accused the rebel clergymen of forcefully entering a church property in Oromia, and called on the government to take action to protect “legally recognised churches and administrative buildings”.

The breakaway bishops had accused the Church of discrimination and linguistic and cultural hegemony, saying congregations in Oromia are not served in their native language, claims rejected by the patriarchate.

In the statement issued by the leader of Church, Patriarch Abune Mathias, the bishops accused the PM, who is from the Oromia region, of making comments that effectively recognised the now-excommunicated “illegitimate group”.

“The government should not interfere in the religious and canonical affairs of the church,” he said.

The Prime Minister who addressed cabinet members on Wednesday, had called for the rivals to engage in dialogue and said both sides had their “own truths”, which the Church leaders said was a subtle recognition of the breakaway bishops.


Ugandan policewoman shot dead by civilian lover



A 23-year-old Ugandan policewoman, PC Caroline Komuhangi, has been shot dead by her civilian lover following an altercation.

The Kigezi regional police spokesperson, Elly Maate, who released a statement on the incident, said the suspect, Denis Arinaitwe, who has been arrested, shot Komuhangi on Sunday morning.

According to Maate, PC Komuhangi who was attached to the Kabale Police Field force Unit, was killed at her barracks residence behind the old Kabale police station.

“It’s alleged that on March 18, 2023, at around 6pm, the deceased signed for the gun and went for night duty. At around 6:30am on March 19, she reported back from duty and while she was resting, her man friend, Denis Arinaitwe, came in and the two picked a quarrel,” the police spokesman said.

“As Komuhangi tried to escape, the man friend picked her gun, thereby shooting her one bullet from the back and other two on the shoulder, killing her instantly,” Maate added.

He said the suspect was arrested by the police and taken to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital (KRRH) under guard.

“This was because he was also injured as he attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself through the nose,” Maate revealed.

Maate said that the exhibit of cartridges and blood stains on the rifle were recovered and a case of murder recorded at Kabale police station.

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Journalists detained for posting video of South Sudan President ‘peeing’ on himself freed



Seven South Sudanese journalists who have been in detention for circulating a video showing President Salva Kiir urinating on himself during the inauguration of a road project, have been released.

The journalists were arrested by the National Security Service in January and have been in detention since then despite pressure on the authorities by international and local human rights groups and activists.

The seven journalists with the state broadcaster were released on Saturday without being charged to court, according to a statement by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan who promised to do everything possible to get the remaining two reporters released.

“The union will continue to engage with all stakeholders in the country to ensure journalists work in a free and safe environment,” the journalists’ organization said.

The South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation had aired the offensive video footage in December which immediately went viral and was widely shared online.

The clip showed the 71-year-old Kiir standing during the national anthem and then looking down at what appeared to be a spreading stain, before the camera turned away from him.

One of the released journalists, Garang John, who posted on his Facebook page, said his health had been “totally compromised by the 60 days of confinement.”

“I am completely weak and tired, but it shall be well,” he wrote.

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