Ethiopian Orthodox Church Finally Secures Title Deed for Disputed Land

By Staff Reporter

Christian-deathMarch 15, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Addis Ababa City Administration has provided title deed to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for the disputed plot of land on which three followers were killed as police were trying to demolish a structure on the land at kebele 24 in Bole Sub-city of the capital.

Ezega.com learned that the church received the ownership title late on Friday, March 13, 2020, to the delight of all Ethiopian Orthodox Christians particularly to those who live nearby to the disputed plot of land and families of the victims.

Three parties including the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church were claiming ownership over the plot land until followers were killed and 17 others injured in gunfire by security forces who tried to destroy the structure at midnight early January but were resisted by the faithful.

Followers of the church have been demanding the city government to issue a legal title and compensate the faithful and they have warned that failing to do so will be met by revenge.

The church is expected to lay a cornerstone on Sunday March 15, 2020, announcing the official launch of the construction of the “Aresema” church at the disputed land in the presence of his holiness Abune Matias, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

The church has been making all it can to secure the land but the Petros’ Union; a supplementary unit of the church has been bargaining with other parties who claimed ownership over the land.

Deputy Mayor of the city, during his latest cabinet meeting authorized the land to the church and provided another plots of lands to the other claimants, Ezega.com learned.

In a resolution it passed recently, the church demanded the city government to transfer the land legally to the church as an organized group consisting of residents of  Kebele 24 and beyond who referred the plot of land as “a place of "Martyrs” has been insisting the same.

The clashes happened on the dawn of Tuesday, January 4, in an area known as 22 Mazoria. At the time, the city mayor reacted to the incident by slamming the police action.

The clashes  between the faithful and security forces occurred around 12:30 PM when members of the federal Liyu (special) police attempted to demolish a small church built on a disputed plot of land which the Orthodox Church claimed ownership.

Even though Takele condemned the action of the police, it was unlikely that the attempt to demolish the church was done without his knowledge.

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