AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - The Bishops: "If we do not eliminate the war, it will eliminate the Ethiopians"

Friday, 11 March 2022 bishops   civil war  

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - "Since the very day the war broke out, the Catholic Church in Ethiopia has not kept silent. The Church has not stopped making public statements denouncing the war, loss of lives, displacement, loss of property and all consequences of the war", says the Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia in a statement sent to Fides. To those who complained that the Catholic Bishops would remain silent on the conflict that broke out in Tigray on November 4, 2020, the Bishops recall their statements of November 6, 2020 (see Fides, 6/11/2020), of July 17, 2021 (see Fides, 26/7/2021) and of December 16, 2021 (see Fides, 23/12/2021).
The Catholic Church in Ethiopia is also mobilized, together with sister churches in other parts of the world, to help war-affected populations in the states of "Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Afar and Benishangul Gumuz with food and basic necessities". "As Bishops, we have expressed several times that we are heartbroken to see people suffering, left without food", they underline.
"The Bishops assure their prayers and renew their appeal for the protection of the natural rights and dignity of every human being". "If war is not thrown out from Ethiopian history by us Ethiopians, it will be the war to throw out us Ethiopians from history", the Bishops warn, who renew their appeal "to all parties involved in the conflict in our country so that they abandon their weapons and start a real dialogue in the interest of the people to allow them to live in peace". The conflict in Ethiopia continues, as reported on March 7 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who said she "continues to receive reports of serious and large-scale violations of human rights in the context of the raging conflict in the Afar and Amhara regions, as well as in Tigray". According to Bachelet, between November 22 and February 28, more than 300 civilians were killed in a series of aerial bombardments in the north of the country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 11/3/2022)