Members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE). Credit: CBCE

Members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) have expressed their sadness in the wake of renewed violence in the Northern region of the Horn of Africa nation.

In a Friday, September 2 statement shared with ACI Africa, the Catholic Bishops make reference to their frequent appeals for peace in the region since November 2020 when the war started, and say that many lives have already been lost as a result of the resumption of fighting.  

“The Ethiopian Catholic Church, by her own and jointly with other religious institutes, has frequently called for all parties to avail for peace regarding the war in northern Ethiopia. We are deeply saddened to note that the war has resumed in the area,” CBCE members say.

They add, “Many lives have been lost, and assets destroyed in the war so far. Due to the scars left by the war, especially children, women and the elderly have been subjected to crisis.”

Media reports indicate that fighting has erupted between forces from Ethiopia’s Northern region of Tigray and those of the central government around the town of Kobo, ending a months-long ceasefire.



“The Ethiopian forces along with Amhara special forces and Amhara militias started a large-scale attack around 5am,” Tigrai Television has been quoted as reporting on August 31.

In their September 2 statement, Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia regret the fact that parties in conflict are returning to war amid a myriad of challenges, saying the resumption of war “is absolutely unacceptable”. 

“When we are all hoping for peace talks and waiting to make our respective contributions, when our innocent people are suffering from hunger, disease, and psychological damage, displaced from their homes, and our entire nation is struggling under the pressure of the cost of living, it is absolutely unacceptable to any of the parties to enter in to war again,” CBCE members say. 

They add, “It is an obvious fact that war is leading to the destruction of national wealth and economic depression.”

The Catholic Church leaders say they long for an end to the suffering of the people of God in Tigray, Amhara, and other areas of the Horn of Africa nation, and call on parties in conflict to lay down their weapons.

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“We again appeal to all parties to cede their weapons and return to the peace options, to prioritize dialogue and an option that will end the suffering of our citizens,” they say in their September 2 statement shared with ACI Africa.

CBCE members add referencing the Ethiopian Calendar, "We urge all Catholics and indeed all people to unite in Prayers for five days in the coming month of Pagume for the intention of Peace and stability in our beloved country, Ethiopia."