ETHIOPIA: Bishops Laud Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Initiative

ADDIS ABABA, JUNE 29, 2018 (CISA) – Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia has welcomed the high-level visit of a delegation from Eritrea to Ethiopia as an initiative to resolve the longstanding dispute between the two countries.

This is the first time officials from the two countries are meeting for peace talks since the two countries fought between 1998 and 2000 over their disputed border.

Speaking on the behalf of the Conference while receiving the guests at the airport in Addis Ababa, Cardinal Berhaneyesus who is also the regional Chair of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) described Tuesday June 26 as a happy day for Catholics of the two countries who have been praying for peace since the conflict started, reported Vatican News.

According to the cardinal, the Catholic Church served as bridge during the difficult days. Even though it was not easy, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea continued to meet and exchange notes on the pastoral concerns of the two conflicting countries.

“I thank the Catholic faithful in Ethiopia and Eritrea and those who are in the diaspora for continuously praying for peace. I would like to congratulate them for we have received answers to our prayers. This is the first step to sustainable peace, and I ask you to continue praying that with God’s grace this initiative may be successful. I invite all the Catholic faithful in both countries to pray for the governments of both countries that God may lead and bless the discussions they are holding to resolve the problems,” the Cardinal said.

He believes that the two governments have the capability to solve their own problems in the same way they contributed a lot in peace building in other countries.

“I believe we don’t need to look for help anywhere else in bringing peace among our countries if we collaborate we can find solutions to our problems ourselves. Let us pray to God that He may guide us on the road for peace,” he said.

Also present at the airport was the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.