Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - As the government of Addis Ababa announces the victory against the rebel forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the concerns of humanitarian agencies for the one million displaced people in Tigray, of whom over 45,000 who have fled to a remote area of neighboring Sudan increase(see 3/12/2020).
For weeks, trucks loaded with aid were blocked at the borders of Tigray, as hunger increased and hospitals ran out of supplies of basic materials such as gloves and body bags. Among the humanitarian agencies on the front lines is Catholic Relief Services, a charitable agency of the United States Bishops' Conference.
"Catholic Relief Services and its partners have purchased food and relief supplies and transported them to storage locations close to the Tigray border", says CRS country representative John Shumlansky . "As areas in Tigray become accessible and safe for travel, the food and supplies will be distributed to groups of people displaced by the conflict".
The leaders of the Catholic Church have repeatedly launched appeals for peace in the Country. In addition to the Bishops of Ethiopia (see Fides, 6/11/2020) and neighboring Eritrea (see Fides, 24/11/2020), and Pope Francis' strong appeals for peace (see Fides, 9/11/2020 and 1/12/2020 ), His Exc. Mgr. Paul Swarbrick, who holds the Africa brief at the Bishops’ Conference, has offered prayers for all affected by the conflict in the east African country. "Advent is a time of hope, a precious need in our lives as individuals and as society. The tragic events unfolding in Tigray and the Horn of Africa appear to defy all hope of a peaceful and swift solution. Our prayers and hearts go out to all victims of this conflict", said Bishop Swarbrick. "We must have hope that a solution will come. We offer our prayers for all victims, those directly caught up in the violence, killed, injured, homeless, separated from loved ones, and those drawn in less directly" .
"We pray for the Local Church as well as for all who are providing humanitarian support. We pray for soldiers, those firing the weapons, those dropping the bombs. We pray for political leaders and all who are tempted to look for revenge. Lord, in these days of Advent lift us with the precious gift of hope found only in You", concludes the Bishop of Lancaster. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/12/2020)