ETHIOPIA: Church Appeals for Dialogue in Resolving Tigray Conflict

ADDIS ABABA, NOVEMBER 10, 2020 (CISA)-Pope Francis has expressed concern on news regarding escalation of violence in Ethiopia and appealed to authorities to, “reject the temptation of armed conflict.”

Speaking after the Angelus on November 8, the pope invited all Ethiopians to prayer and to the fraternal respect for dialogue and the peaceful resolution of discord.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia on November 4 condemned ongoing clashes in Tigray region and appealed for peaceful dialogue to evade plunging the country into civil war.

“The federal democratic government and the Tigray regional government of Ethiopia have reached the level of conflict and to make lasting peace. Choices that lead to war have no benefit than creating a breakthrough between brothers,” the bishops said calling on Ethiopians to join hands with the government to strengthen public unity and peaceful coexistence among the people.

In an appeal to the government, the prelates called for respect of the rule of law by ensuring all the steps to ensure the rule of law don’t put the lives of the citizens in danger and don’t lead the country to the low.

As the media keeps an eye on developments in the region, the bishops called for professionalism stressing on media ethics and not to inspire conflict, but instead urge people to be careful.

“All Catholics living in Ethiopia and all over the world, we would like you to understand the current situation of our country, with special attention to peace and peace, and we would like you to pray with all other religion followers according to the call of the Ethiopian Religious Institutions,” the bishops said.

Ethiopia in the past week has witnessed an escalation of tension in the north between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). This was after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused the TPLF forces of attacking a military base in Tigray

The Ethiopian government cut off communications in the heavily armed Tigray region and ordered troops to respond to an alleged deadly attack by Tigray’s forces on a military base. Both sides have accused each other of initiating the fighting.

According to estimate by the United Nations, nine million people risk displacement if the conflict in the region is not addressed.