By Arnold Neliba
ADDIS ABABA, MARCH 11, 2022 (CISA) – “If war is not thrown out of Ethiopian history by us Ethiopians, it will be the war to throw out us Ethiopians from history,” warned the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) in a statement denouncing the war, loss of lives, displacement, loss of property and all consequences of the war in the troubled Tigray region.
“The Catholic Church in Ethiopia has put all possible efforts together with all stakeholders to prevent conflict in the country through prayer & by making an appeal to all concerned parties. Unfortunately, all the efforts made were not successful and the unacceptable war broke out between brothers and sisters of our nation. This has brought so much pain and sadness to all of us,” the bishops observed regretfully.
In their communiqué, the bishops reminded the faithful of three important statements that “appealed to the parties involved in the war to stop the war and choose the path of dialogue and create all conducive environment so that the people could live in peace and get their daily supplies smoothly.”
“Our church, not only made statements but also acted. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia appealed with all Catholic Partner agencies and with the lay faithful abroad and locally; and resources were mobilized and has been supporting with humanitarian aid the affected people in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Afar and Benishangul Gumuz with food and non-food items,” the prelates said.
The bishops also disclosed the progress made towards the ongoing conflict in Tigray by pointing out, “The three plenary assemblies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia conducted during the last one and half year focused its deliberation on the ongoing conflicts in the country and on what should the response of the Church be.”
“The Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia approved a budget of One Hundred Million Birr to be raised internationally and locally. An official appeal was made to partners by the Bishops Conference and the fund is secured and the Catholic Church has started the implementation of the humanitarian assistance. The bishops are very grateful for the immediate response given our partners to the appeal made,” they added.
Moreover, the bishops assured their prayers and appealed that “natural human dignity and right is protected wherever they are.”
They also reiterated “The Church will continue to work for all the suffering human beings wherever they are located without partiality but by compassion.”
Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict between federal authorities and Tigray’s regional government, began when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the northern regional force in Tigray on November 4.