Grief Mixes With Anger Over Christian Ethiopian Deaths

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By Jacey Fortin / New York Times
result-13ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — In a downtrodden neighborhood called Cherkos, not far from the headquarters of the African Union, an olive-green tent stands as a tangible symbol of this nation’s grief.
Two bereft families have gathered under its shade to mourn the loss of Eyasu Yikunoamlak and Balcha Belete, Ethiopian migrants who were killed in Libya by militants claiming to represent the Islamic State.
“Eyasu was a good person who just wanted to make money to help our mother, who is very sick,” said the victim’s brother, Seyoum Yikunoamlak, as women in black scarves wailed around him. “He was a follower of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and that is why they slaughtered him.”
Mr. Seyoum said he had helped his brother pay $4,400 to a smuggler for an illegal journey to Italy. But on Sunday, a video surfaced online revealing that his brother was among about 30 people who appeared to have been shot or beheaded by masked militants in Libya. The Ethiopian government is trying to determine how many were Ethiopian citizens.
The killings are the latest warning to Ethiopians seeking passage to foreign countries for economic opportunity.
People trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea risk drowning en route, as happened just days ago when a boat carrying hundreds capsized off the Libyan coast.
Ethiopians traveling to the Middle East for work have faced mistreatment, mass deportations or, as in Yemen, outbreaks of war.
Immigrants to South Africa have endured a surge of xenophobic attacks this month.
 

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