AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - The Ursulines of Gandino worried and saddened for their sister still in prison

Saturday, 15 January 2022 civil war   religious institutes  

Addis Abeba (Agenzia Fides) - "One of the leaders of the Ethiopian community told me that Sr. Abrehet Teserma is still in prison. The biggest problem, besides the imprisonment itself, is that we have no news and today, 40 days after her arrest, we are in the dark about everything. We are completely ignorant of the reason for her arrest and her stay in prison. We are worried and saddened. As Mother Raffaella Pedrini, Superior General of the Ursulines of Gandino, the fate of Sister Abrehet Teserma, a kindergarten teacher in Shola, Addis Ababa, abducted last November 30 by government police forces, along with five other Sisters of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent and two deacons , is still shrouded in mystery and characterized by anxiety (see Fides, 14/12/2021).
"Our sisters go to bring her meals and basic necessities and are therefore in constant contact with her. But they are not allowed to meet her directly, they see her from afar, leave what she needs and go away. Apparently, our sister is doing well and seems calm, but we can't say anything about her general condition because we haven't seen her up close since that day".
The situation in the great Horn of Africa country, now 14 months after the start of the war, which has spread far beyond the Tigray region where it began in November 2020, remains very tense. The tentative signs of calm date back to the pre-Christmas period, when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) declared a unilateral ceasefire and an unconditional withdrawal from the Amhara and Afar regions. The TPLF has announced its intention to return to Tigray and "open the doors to humanitarian aid", thus raising hopes of initial relief for the tens of thousands of civilians forced by the conflict to starve or flee.
Mother Raffaella Pedrini concludes: "We are all very concerned about the fate of Abrehet Teserma as well as the general situation, but we live this moment as an occasion of deep faith. We see that other nuns find themselves in a similar situation. and that they all share the impossibility of understanding the reasons. It would be very important to know the reasons that led to the arrest, and also to decide on a course of action.
Personally, I telephone every day and speak with our responsible in Addis Ababa, Sister Abrehet Cahasai, in some cases several times a day. From the very beginning we contacted the Secretariat of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and await news. We have chosen to follow the advice of our coordinator in Ethiopia, relying on the Secretariat, and we hope to see results soon". (LA) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2022)