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Crown Council Statement on the Unlawful Murders of 21 Egyptians in Libya

The President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, today expressed his and the Council’s sorrow and anger at the unlawful killing of 21 Egyptian workers on February 15, 2015, by a group claiming to represent the Islamic State in Libya.

Prince Ermias noted: “It is difficult to adequately express the concern we have for the rise in violence in our region in the name of religion, but we wish at this time to express our great sense of grief, and our sympathy to the families of the 21 murdered men, and to the Coptic community in Egypt, as well as to the Government and People of Egypt. This was a crime of hatred against innocent people, solely on the basis of their Christianity.”

“We are greatly encouraged that the Government and the Church in Egypt, as well as People of all faiths in Egypt, have come together to condemn this barbarity. We hope that, through the pain, this episode has at least one benefit in building even stronger bonds between the Muslim and Christian communities of Egypt.”

“As well, we are highly conscious of the fact that Ethiopia, too, represents a society in which Christians and Muslims live together, and have done so, for the most part harmoniously, for centuries. Libya, the scene of this barbarity, has itself historically displayed great moderation in its society, particularly with the Senussiyah branch of Islam welcoming guests into the country. It is sad to record that this tolerance was put aside with the removal of the reign of King Idris I in 1969. We pray, as do most Libyans, for a return to that sense of tolerance and harmony in the country, and for the removal of alien forces there.”

“It is time for the People of the Nile, and their neighbors, to stand together for peace and cooperation.”