AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Pope Francis: "violence does not resolve discord". The region awaits peace talks

Monday, 24 October 2022

Addis Abeba (Agenzia Fides) - The Eritrean troops advancing alongside the Ethiopians have taken control of Adua, the historic city in the Tigray region, a symbol for the Ethiopians of the victory against Italian colonialism in 1896. The advance of the state army troops with Eritrean and Amhara militias appears aimed at dealing a decisive blow to the rebels in Tigray.
Thousands of people took to the streets in Addis Ababa on Saturday October 23 to condemn foreign interference in the war
in Tigray, considered by pro-governments to be an internal Ethiopian matter.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared that the war would end and peace would reign in light of the recent military successes. "We will not continue to fight forever. I believe that in a short time we will be at the side of our fellow citizens of Tigray for peace and development".
Meanwhile, the peace talks sponsored by the African Union in South Africa are expected to start today, October 24, 2022 (see Fides, 21/10/2022). The representation of the Tigray region has already arrived, but it is not yet known what the composition of the federal government's delegation will be. The expectations of Western diplomats in particular are very high.
After the Angelus on Sunday October 23, 2022, World Mission Day, Pope Francis also addressed his appeal to the people of Ethiopia: "I follow the persistent situation of conflict in Ethiopia with trepidation. Once again, I repeat with heartfelt concern that violence does not resolve discord, but only increases the tragic consequences. I appeal to those who hold political responsibility to put an end to the suffering of the defenceless population and to find equitable solutions for lasting peace throughout the country. May the efforts of the parties for dialogue and the search for the common good lead to a genuine path of reconciliation. May our prayers, our solidarity and the necessary humanitarian aid not fail our Ethiopian brothers and sisters, who are so sorely tried".
The Pope's words have aroused great emotion, especially in the Tigray region, and in the Eparchy of Adigrat, where Catholic communities live on the borders of Eritrea. (GF) (Agenzia Fides, 24/10/2022)