Ethiopian bishops call for ceasefire in Tigray crisis
As the war over control of Ethiopia's Tigray region expands into neighbouring regions, the country's bishops on Saturday urged an end to the violence.
“It saddens our hearts hearing about war while we all would like to hear about peace and reconciliation,” read a July 17 statement from the Ethiopian bishops’ conference. The conference had held its ordinary assembly July 13-16 in Mojo, about 50 miles southeast of Addis Ababa.
Fighting has been taking place in Tigray since November 2020 between the regional government of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and federal forces.
In the last week, the Tigray war has expanded into the neighboring Afar region; it had already crossed into the Amhara region.
Ethiopia’s bishops commented that “as Pastors, we cannot but feel the anguish and pain that the people are going through.”
The bishops “prayed for the peace of our country and the safety of our people,” making special mention of Bishop Tesfasilassie Medhin of the Ethiopian Eparchy of Adigrat.
The bishops said they “kindly urge” the parties in conflict to halt the violence and strive toward peaceful co-existence, saying, “War only destroys lives and properties and nothing more and the choice to be made should not be a war but peace and reconciliation.”
Violence, the bishops said, “is never a remedy for wrongs or a solution to a crisis.”
“It is never too late to stop the violence, to acknowledge that the only way forward, for the good of the people, is peace and reconciliation, to satisfy the demands of truth and justice, to ask for and grant forgiveness, to do what is necessary to restore mutual trust, to recognize others as our brothers and sisters, no matter who they are and how deep our disagreements are, and to settle any differences through dialogue and negotiation,” they stated.
The bishops also encouraged the people of God to put their hope in Christ, saying, “It is the only way that we can heal together as a country, as a society, and as a Church.”
Source: Catholic News Agency