Islamic State (IS) affiliates in Libya have killed approximately 30 Ethiopian Christians on Libyan territories, posting a video that went viral on social media networks Sunday.
In a similar act on 20 Coptic Egyptians in February, the group posted another video addressing the “nation of the cross”. In the video, the group threatened Christians worldwide that they “will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam”.
The video featured the deaths of the Ethiopian Christian citizens. A group was killed by gunshots, and the rest beheaded on a Mediterranean sea-shore.
The beheadings are similar to a video released nearly two months ago, featuring the killings of Egyptian Christians. However, the 29-minute video began with what seemed to be a justification of the act.
The White House condemned the “brutal mass-killing of” Ethiopian men, “solely because of their faith”. The White House statement underscored “the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya to empower a unified Libyan rejection of terrorist groups”.
Although the nationality of those killed was questioned, Daily News Egypt has acquired confirmation from the Ethiopian Government’s Communication Affairs office media department. The office said that the “Ethiopian government ratified that the people killed were Ethiopians”, and that three days of mourning will commence Tuesday for those killed.
The Libyan government could not be reached for comment on the incident.
Following the video’s release, Egypt announced its “solidarity with the Ethiopian government and people”, and emphasised the need for the international community to provide support for the Interim Libyan government.
The Foreign Ministry statement also noted that the “recurrence of such a heinous act” should have been prevented after the killing of Egyptians in Libya.
Egypt reacted to the killing of its citizens in Libya by launching a number of airstrikes on the city of Derna. The airstrikes targeted camps and ammunition stores belonging to Islamic State affiliates in Libya. The strikes were launched in cooperation with the Interim Libyan government.
Since then, Egypt has reiterated its calls on the international community to take “strict measures” to stop the flow of arms and funds to terrorist organisations to prevent their spread on Libyan territories.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called for the lift of the arms embargo on Libya, to allow the Libyan army to defend its country. The US, Italy, France, Britain, Spain and Germany however called for a “unity government” in Libya, and stressed their support for a “political solution” in a joint statement released in late February.
Islamic State and their affiliates have taken control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, as well as some areas Libya including Sirte, Derna and the capital, Tripoli.
Since the toppling of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the situation in Libya has seen deterioration with rebels and militia groups increasing.