Ethiopian authorities on Sunday have arrested six Saudi Arabian nationals on suspicion of financing terrorist activities in the country. Saudi Arabian media claim that the six Saudi nationals were distributing “charity” to Muslims in the Ethiopian capital.
A senior official at the Saudi Embassy in Addis Ababa tsaid that all six Saudis were detained while distributing “donations”. A lawyer appointed by the Saudi Embassy is following up with investigations and trying to get the Saudis released, the official claim.
Last Saturday, Ethiopian police clashed with scores of Muslims protesters complaining that the state is interfering in their religion, witnesses and officials said. The protesters, some wearing masks, blocked the entrance of the Anwar Mosque in the west of the capital Addis Ababa and hurled stones at riot police who had surrounded the compound after noon prayers.
Thousands of Muslims have staged sporadic street protests in the capital since late last year, arguing that the government is promoting an alien branch of Islam, the Al Ahbash sect, which is avowedly apolitical and has numerous adherents globally.
The government denies promoting Al Ahbash, but is determined to prevent Islamic militancy and war mongering spilling over from neighbouring Sudan or lawless Somalia.