Ethiopia: Building Peace in the Amhara Region of the Country – the Commitment of Catholics

Debre Berhan — A delegation led by the Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE), Abba Teshome

Fikre, was recently visited the North Shoa conflict area, one of the administrative areas into which the North Amhara regional state is divided. According to local sources, ethnic clashes have occurred in five parts of the area, causing the death of hundreds of people, injuries, devastation and more than 250,000 displaced. According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, internally displaced persons have found refuge in Debre Berhan and other neighboring areas, with the support of the government, civil society, relatives and family members. The support of the local community, the emergency services of the government and the Ethiopian and international Red Cross have helped to partially alleviate the crisis. Upon arriving in the capital, Debre Berhan, the delegates assured that the Catholic Church will continue to work for peace in the area, pray for peace and for the comfort of the families of the victims. The Church said it is willing to collaborate with other religions and communities as well as contributing to the immediate rehabilitation of those affected.

It is also committed to restoring peace, stability and the restoration of a culture of coexistence in the community. During the meeting, the ways in which the Catholic Church can provide support in the area, the ways to reach the victims and understand their situation were discussed in detail. In addition to food, medicine, medical supplies, kitchen utensils, stoves, there is an urgent need for support, especially for children and women. The initiative was promoted by the President of the CBCE, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel. Abba Teshome Fikre was accompanied by officials of the Archdiocese of Addis Ababa, the Cistercian Fathers and representatives of the Catholic Relief Service, CAFOD, SCIAF and TROCAIRE Ethiopia. The delegation also recommended that the government strive to ensure lasting peace and security in the area, underlining that the Catholic Church is also ready to play its role in the peace-building process.

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