The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council on Thursday urged the government to probe attacks against Muslims in the northern city of Gondar, and immediately bring perpetrators to the court of law.
The call for an immediate investigation into the deadly attacks came in a news conference by Hajji Mufti Omer Idriss, president of the Ethiopian Islamic body, amid uproar by Muslims and Christians alike, taking it to social media calling for justice for the slain people.
“There are people who clandestinely instigate brothers to kill each other while openly preaching peace,” Idriss said.
He added: “No religion preaches killing and it is now incumbent on religious fathers to preach unity.”
Idriss called on both Muslims and Christians to join hands to expose the destructive deeds of criminals.
The deadly attack against Muslims in Gondar of the Amhara regional state took place two days ago and the incident sent shockwaves across the Horn of Africa nation.
According to reports coming from the city, scuffle for a right of way at a cemetery snowballed and turned ugly in which tens of Muslims were killed and a considerable amount of property damaged.
At least 40 Muslims were killed, a mosque was torched and several businesses run by Muslims were destroyed, an eyewitness told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
The government is yet to confirm the casualties in and the extent of property damage.
Ethiopia is a multi-religious nation of 110 million people, with Muslims estimated to constitute 35% of the population.
The country prides itself on granting safe haven for the companions of Prophet Muhammed during the 7th century and ever since religion in the Ethiopian society cuts across ethnic divides.
Over the past few decades, though, there have been a number of religiously motivated attacks across Ethiopia, threatening religious co-existence.