AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - The Church in prayer for the ongoing peace talks

Saturday, 29 October 2022

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - After two years of conflict between the Ethiopian government and the separatist militias of the Tigray region, which have claimed the lives of thousands of civilians, representatives of both sides have met for the first time in Pretoria (South Africa) for peace talks. This step awakened new hope among the citizens of Ethiopia. The peace talks began last Tuesday, October 25, 2022, and will end tomorrow, Sunday, October 30, 2022. The aim is to mediate in the face of the challenges of the second most populous country in Africa and to find a sustainable solution to the conflict. To date, no news has emerged from the building where the meetings are held and to which journalists have not been allowed access.
"The past two years have been devastating. Many people have lost their lives and property, and many have been displaced. We hope these talks will bring a breath of peace," said the Apostolic Vicar of Jima Bonga, Markos Ghebremedhin.
"We pray and hope that the outcome of these talks will lead to the restoration of peace in the country so that we can rebuild our nation."
Pope Francis, in his address at the Angelus prayer on Sunday 23 October, called on the parties involved in Ethiopia "to put an end to the suffering of the vulnerable population and to find just solutions for a lasting peace throughout the country" (see Fides, 24/10/2022).
The ongoing talks are being mediated by an African Union team led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and assisted by former Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African Vice President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. If the negotiations in South Africa fail, local authorities say "a conflict full of atrocities will continue". (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 29/10/2022)