Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia “strongly” Condemn Killings in Gambella and Western Wollega

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

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) have condemned the reported killing of over 300 people, “mostly women and children” in the country’s Gambella and Western Wollega regions. 

In their Friday, June 24 statement, CBCE members say that “the Ethiopian Catholic Church has been condemning the death, displacement and destruction of property” in the embattled regions of the Horn of Africa country.

“The Church still strongly condemns the killing of innocent people in Gambella and Western Wollega, mostly women and children,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say, and add, “People should not be killed because of their identity and religion.”

Local media reports that the June 18 clashes that “resulted in severe civilian casualties, injuries, and property damages involved the government security forces and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA)."

An eye witness who maintained anonymity told the Associated Press, that after the June 18 attacks, witness “counted 230 bodies,” and that the tragic incident is  the “deadliest attack against civilians we have seen in our lifetime.”


In their June 24 statement, Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia call upon the government, religious leaders, and other relevant stakeholders to put an end to the killings and restore the horn of the African country to her original state.

“We would like to remind the government and local administrations, elders of the country, religious leaders and all citizens to stop such evil acts and to restore the tradition of living with respect and support that has been known all over the world,” they say.

CBCE members add, “This situation where citizens are in danger of living in peace in their country and their families is worrying our Church. Till now in different parts of our country many innocent people have been killed for different reasons."

“Many have been displaced from their homes and are in shelter”, they say, adding that the “direct victims of these situations are the elderly, women and children.”

Making reference to the Gospel of Matthew, the Catholic Bishops condemned those who kill, saying, "You have heard that it is said that you shall not kill, anyone who kills will be judged. Verily I say unto you: Whoever is angry against his brother will receive judgment."

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Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore has the right not only to life but also to live in a “comfortable environment” where their “physical and mental safety” is maintained.

"In recent years in different areas of our country, actions that are contrary to any religious teaching that lead to death, displacement and migration are being repeated. There is no acceptable reason that can lead to death and humiliation of human beings," CBCE members say in their June 24 statement.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.