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Category:Mena Disaster

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Governments
In the wake of the Mina disaster, many world leaders sent messages of sympathy and consolation, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Quatar Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.2
  Algeria
•           Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Mohamed Aissa, said "We do not doubt the reliability of the security system set up by the Saudi government. We do not deny, either, that the Saudi kingdom is the sole organizer of the hajj, for several years. However, we will require that the whole matter be clarified and that those responsible for this disaster are known and sanctioned. We will demand compensation for the families of the deceased and for the injured".2
  Bangladesh
•           Religious Affairs Secretary Chowdhury Md Babul Hassan came down heavily upon the Saudi government for its "disrespectful handling" of the bodies after 24 September incident at Mina. "The way the Saudi security officials removed the bodies from the site seemed as if they were dumping garbage." "The stampede has laid bare the Saudi authorities' mismanagements," he said.
  India
•           Indian President Pranab Mukherjee stated via Twitter that he was "deeply saddened by tragic incident at Mina Thursday, during which a large number of haj pilgrims lost their lives" and that he offered "my sincere condolences to government of Saudi Arabia and families of the deceased pilgrims. I also wish speedy recovery to injured".
•           Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "Distressing news from Mecca. Pained at loss of lives due to the stampede. Condolences to families of the deceased and prayers with the injured".
  Indonesia
•           Indonesian officials criticized Saudi Arabia's response to the disaster, saying authorities in the kingdom prevented their diplomats from seeing initial data and blocked their immediate access to the dead.2
•           Indonesia officially offered assistance to help Saudi Arabia in identifying bodies of hundreds of hajj pilgrims killed in Thursday's stampede during the conduction of a hajj procession in Mina, a statement released by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
    Lebanon
•           Tammam Salam, Prime Minister of Lebanon, offered his condolences, stating that he "shared the sorrow with the Iranian nation and officials of the Islamic Republic".
•           Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah said that the Saudi regime holds the full responsibility for the Mina incident as it was the sole manager of the pilgrimage and it has always refused to share this responsibility with anyone else. He stressed that blaming the pilgrims for this tragedy was a simplification of things, and that the consequent accidents in the pilgrimage that take place every year indicate that there is a major problem in Saudi’s management.4 He further said Saudi Arabia should allow Muslim countries to help the kingdom run the Hajj pilgrimage rituals, emphasising the need for the formation of a Muslim committee to "supervise the management" of the annual Islamic event. He also added that a group of Muslim countries should be formed to probe the fatal stampede during Hajj rites.
  Nigeria
•           The Nigerian government has dismissed remarks by the Saudi health minister blaming pilgrims for "not following instructions."
•           Abdullahi Mukhtar, the Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria said, "It was not fair for anyone to blame Africans participating at the pilgrimage for the fatal incident" and called on the Saudi authority to include Nigeria in a government investigation into the incident.
•           Nigeria's Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II said he would advise Nigerians not to participate in the Stoning of the Devil unless they are assigned quarters close to the Jamarāt pillars. Citing Qur’anic verses and teachings of Muhammad, Sanusi stated that omitting the Stoning of the Devil rite does not lessen the validty of the Hajj pilgrimage. Further explaining his reasoning, Sanusi said, "During the era of Prophet Muhammad, he permitted pilgrims who came on camels to stay in Makkah after Arafat, instead of staying in Mina and sleeping at Muzdalifa. So, if the Prophet can give such grace to some people, just to protect their animals, why didn’t our scholars educate our people properly to avoid this untoward hardship and death" and that "If one deliberately refuses to even perform the stoning of the devil ritual, all he needs to do is just to slaughter a ram in order to make up for the loss. So, if this is the situation, why do we go and suffer and die instead of sacrificing a ram?"
•           Members of the Nigerian House of Representatives condemned stampede in Mecca during which several lives were lost. The House also demanded for the immediate take-over of the investigation of the incident by international investigators since there were still conflicting reports as to the cause of the incident. It stated that this became necessary in order to prevent future occurrence. During the tragedy, 54 Nigerians lost their lives. One member of the House, Honourable Igbokwue, pointed out that if nothing concrete was done to establish the cause of the stampede, it would definitely happen again.
•           The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, urged Saudi authorities to henceforth provide improved safety measures during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
•           Sheik Sani Yahaya Jingir, chairman of Nigeria's National Ulama’u Council, called on Nigerian government to work with Saudi Arabia to investigate the cause of the incident, and to take action to prevent similar future crowd collapses.
  Pakistan
•           The New York Times reported that, amid public criticism of the Saudi and Pakistani governments for weaknesses in the official response to the tragedy, the Pakistani government has directed private television networks to "avoid criticizing the Saudis in news programs and talk shows." Pakistani lawmaker Tariq Fazal Chaudhry has defended his government's position, saying the directive was meant to prevent broadcasts from "giving the tragedy a sectarian color."
•           Opposition demonstrated a walk-out from the Pakistani Senate against the government’s attitude towards Mina stampede. Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said that the ruling party is trying to forget the issue by suppressing it. He said that the government has left Pakistani pilgrims alone in tough times and is trying to cover the situation though Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). The Deputy Chairman said that the nation should wait for investigative report by Saudi Arabia. There must not be any politics over Mina stampede, he added.
  Senegal
•           In steering committee, the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) called for the resignation of the government led by Dionne Muhammad Abdallah Boun. Liberals believed that the state authorities have not been up in the "management" of Mina stampede.
  Syria
•           State-controlled news agency Syrian Arab News Agency said, "The stampede raised questions about the Saudi government’s attention to pilgrims’ safety despite billions of dollars that Saudi authorities claim to spend to improve Hajj."
  Turkey
•           Mehmet Görmez, the head of Presidency of Religious Affairs blamed serious management issues at Mecca,6 saying, "There was serious negligence by authorities in directing the crowd."
•           Though AKP Deputy Chair Mehmet Ali Şahin also criticised the Saudi organisation,6 Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended the Saudi government saying, "I do not sympathise with the hostile statements against Saudi Arabia."6 He asserted, "It is not right to have the approach of putting the blame on Saudi Arabia. On the contrary, during the Hajj and Umrah I participated in, I came to observe closely the level of sensibility in the organization work conducted there. Therefore I cannot say ‘the organization is wrong’."
  Russia
•           During a one-on-one meeting at the UN General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin personally expressed his condolences to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and to the families of Iran's deceased Hajj pilgrims.6 Putin had earlier sent condolences to Saudi King Salman expressing his "compassion to the families and relatives of the dead and wished an early recovery to the injured".
  United Kingdom
•           United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that his "thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed at the Hajj pilgrimage."
•           UK opposition Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn stated that he was "shocked and saddened to hear of today’s events in Saudi Arabia. My thoughts are with the friends and families of all those affected as well as Muslims in Britain and around the world."
  United Nations
•           United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that he "was deeply saddened to learn of the death of more than 700 Hajj pilgrims and of injuries to many others as a result of a deadly incident in the Mina Valley in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
  United States
•           Ned Price, spokesman for the United States National Security Council, speaking on behalf of the Obama administration, said "the United States expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the hundreds of Hajj pilgrims killed and hundreds more injured in the heartbreaking stampede in Mina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As Muslims around the world continue to celebrate Eid al-Adha, we join you in mourning the tragic loss of these faithful pilgrims."
   Vatican
•           Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, expressed his "sentiments of closeness in the face of the tragedy that their people suffered today in Mecca."