ETHIOPIA: Church Calls Attention to Suffering of People amid Ethnic Clashes


ADDIS ABABA, APRIL 30, 2021 (CISA)- The Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) has asked the Government to pay attention to the troubled North Shoa Zone and to the suffering of the people following ethnic clashes between the Amhara and Oromo.

A delegation from the conference, led by Berhaneyesus Demerew Cardinal Souraphiel the president of CBCE met the leaders of North Shoa Zone to discuss the impact of the conflict on the livelihood of the people.

“The government should pay attention to the return of the displaced people and ensure that they live in the area. The Catholic Church is ready to contribute to peace and reconciliation,” reads April 27 report by the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat.

According to Reuters, Endale Haile, Ethiopia’s Chief Ombudsman estimates that close to 200 people have died and 250,000 displaced in the region’s North Shoa Zone. Another 78,000 people were displaced in Oromia Special Zone.

“The delegation expressed condolences to their families. The Church has announced that it is ready to reconcile the displaced people, to rebuild peace and stability between the communities,” the report says.

The report notes that those displaced are in need of food, medicine and medical equipment, cooking equipment among other necessities calling for solidarity with the affected population.

Jemal Hassen Mohammed, Chief Administrator of the Jile-Temuga area in the Oromo Special Zone, said the violence began on March 19 after an ethnic Oromo prayer leader was shot dead outside a mosque, sparking clashes between Amhara security forces and ethnic Oromo civilians.

The Amhara and Oromia regions share a border and attacks on civilians from one ethnic group living on the other side of the border have been rising in recent months.