International community condemns ISIL killings
BRUSSELS / WASHINGTON
AP PhotoThe international community has condemned the slaughter of at least 28 Ethiopian Christians in an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) video, with Ethiopia confirming that the victims were its citizens.
“This not a clash of civilizations, this not a fight between Islam and the West,” an EU spokesman said in a statement. “This is a criminal misuse of a noble religion to perpetrate terrorist attacks in a struggle for power.”
The video released on April 19 by the jihadist group shows militants in Libya shooting and beheading captives, who are described in text captions as “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church.”
“The EU stands together with the growing number of countries in Africa, which are battling terrorism and radicalization,” the statement said.
“In the Sahel region and in the Horn of Africa, the EU supports regional counter-terrorism efforts and directs its development support to help tackle the root causes of these problems,” it added.
The United States condemned the “brutal mass murder.” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan decried the killings and called for stability in Libya, which has been mired in political chaos and unrest since the 2011 uprising that toppled former strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the brutal mass murder purportedly of Ethiopian Christians by ISIL-affiliated terrorists in Libya,” she said.
“This hateful terrorist incident showed one more time the importance of filling the current authority gap in Libya with a government of national unity, which should be built with consensus,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
French President Francois Hollande condemned on April 20 the killings, urging a peace deal to restore order in the conflict-ridden nation. Hollande said in a statement he was outraged at the “abominable” murder shown in the video.
Ethiopia said on April 20 that the Christians shown being shot were its citizens. “The Ethiopian government is deeply saddened by the barbarous act committed against our innocent nationals,” a government statement said.
Ethiopia will observe three days of national mourning starting on April 21, with flags lowered to half-staff mast to mourn what it described as “atrocities committed against our nationals in Libya and South Africa.”