Ethiopia joins UK in mourning Grenfell Tower fire victims

22 Jul 2017

On 14th June, the Embassy was shocked to see the horrific scenes of the fire at Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, London.

Eight British nationals of Ethiopian origin were tragically impacted by the fire including: mother and son Berikti and Biruk Habtom; five-year old Isaac Paulos; and Hashim Kidir, his wife and their three children.

Mother and son Berikti and Biruk Habtom

According to the latest update from the Metropolitan Police, a total of around 80 people are either dead or missing presumed dead. They expect this figure to change. As of 14th June, 34 victims have been formally identified including Isaac Paulos, Berikti Habtom and 13- year old Yahya Hashim.

The Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Hailemichael Aberra Afework PhD and other diplomats visited the families on Friday, 16th June to offer their support.

Following the visit, Ambassador Hailemichael said:

“I cannot imagine what these families must be going through right now. This has hit home, especially because we know these families. The Embassy and the Ethiopian community stands united at this difficult time and is providing ongoing support to them. I would also like to express my deepest sympathy to all those who have been affected and convey our thanks to the public for their messages of support and donations, and to all emergency services, volunteers and support workers who are working tirelessly to support the victims.”

In a letter to his counterpart The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, the Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu said: “It is with deep shock and utter disbelief that we learnt of the tragic fire accident at Grenfell Tower…On behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, I would like to extend to you, to the people of the United Kingdom, and in particular, to the residents of London and the families and friends of the bereaved, our heartfelt condolences.”

The Hashim family

 The Embassy continues to offer support to the affected families.

…Isaac’s funeral held

Isaac Paulos, one of the youngest victims of the fire, was laid to rest on 14th July in the presence of hundreds of mourners at Kensal Green Cemetery. Earlier, a service was held at the St Mary of Debretsion Orthodox Church in Battersea.

Embassy staff led by H.E. Ambassador Hailemichael Aberra Afework, joined Genet Shawo, her husband Paulos Petakle, family, friends and well-wishers, in bidding farewell to Isaac.

Isaac, a regular visitor at the Embassy with his mother Genet, who described him as a “beautiful boy”, will be sorely missed by all staff.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Isaac’s family and loved ones during this very difficult time.

May He Rest In Eternal Peace.

Latest News

Browse all
In just three weeks, Ethiopia made history with the elevation of women to top government posts: a cabinet reshuffle saw a gender-balanced cabinet with women taking up half the ministerial posts, the first female president and first female supreme court president. These measures are part of Prime Minister Abiy’s latest reforms since taking office and are huge milestones in Ethiopian…
19 Nov 2018
Ethiopia’s three weeks of historic firsts
Alex Lewis, a quadruple amputee whose life changed five years ago when he contracted Strep A with Septicaemia and Toxic Shock Syndrome, which then led to amputation of all his limbs, is embarking on a monumental challenge. Alex is hoping to climb one of Africa’s tallest mountains – Ras Dashen in Ethiopia. For two weeks in January, Alex is going…
13 Nov 2018
Quadruple amputee to scale Ethiopia’s highest mountain
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a working visit to Europe from 30 – 31 October, which saw him in France and Germany. However, the highlight of the visit was on 31 October in Frankfurt, where more than 15,000 Ethiopians from all over Europe braved the cold for the Prime Minister's first address to the Diaspora in Europe.
8 Nov 2018
PM Abiy’s memorable visit to Europe
On 1st November, the Parliament appointed Meaza Ashenafi, one of Ethiopia's most seasoned lawyers and a prominent women rights activist, as the country's first female Supreme Court President. This follows the appointment of the country's first female president and a gender-balanced Cabinet.
5 Nov 2018
First woman to head Supreme Court
In yet another historic move, and just days after PM Abiy named a new gender-balanced Cabinet, Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde has been appointed as the fourth President of Ethiopia, replacing Dr. Mulatu Teshome. The decision was made by a unanimous vote during a special joint session of Ethiopia's parliament.
25 Oct 2018
Ethiopia elects first female President
On 16th October, more than 200 delegates comprising members of parliament, analystts, investors, the media and others, gathered in London for the UK-Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum, aimed at boosting bilateral trade between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom.
22 Oct 2018
UK-Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum affirms Ethiopia is open for Business
The Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund official website www.ethiopiatrustfund.org is now live and taking donations, as of October 22. The Advisory Council urges all interested in advancing freedom, democracy, human rights and good governance, and the EDTF to make their USD$1 contributions.
22 Oct 2018
Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund goes live
As part of ongoing reforms taking place in the country, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed named a new Cabinet on 16th October, with half the posts being taken by women – a historic first for Ethiopia, and Africa in general. The cabinet reshuffle saw the number of ministerial positions reduced from 28 to 20.
19 Oct 2018
Women take centre stage in Prime Minister Abiy’s Cabinet reshuffle
Addis Fine Art presented a solo exhibition by Ethiopian Artist, Addis Gezehagn, for the 2018 edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which took place between 4th and 7th October at Somerset House, London. [caption id="attachment_4494" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Addis Gezehagn, Floating City X, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas, 146 x 222 cm. Courtesy Addis Fine Art [/caption] The solo exhibition…
15 Oct 2018
Addis Fine Art showcases Ethiopian art at 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in London
On 2nd October, the Scientific Exploration Society commemorated the 50th anniversary of the exploration of Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River at a special event at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Mr Fekadu Beyene, Head of Diaspora Affairs (Chargé d’Affaires) attended on behalf of the Embassy and was joined by some of the members of the expedition and a number of…
8 Oct 2018
50th anniversary of the first Blue Nile expedition commemorated