Pope Francis Urges Ethiopian Political Actors to “end suffering of unarmed population”

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address on 23 October 2022. | Vatican Media

Pope Francis has appealed to political actors in Ethiopia to put to an end the violent conflict in the Horn of Africa nation and the “suffering of the unarmed population”.

Ethiopia’s Tigray region has been ravaged by violence since November 2020 when the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed-led government ordered a military offensive against the authorities in the country’s Northernmost regional State.

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Sunday October 23 after leading the Angelus Prayer, Pope Francis expressed his awareness of the violent conflict in Ethiopia and appealed for dialogue and reconciliation in the Horn of Africa nation. 

“I am following the continuing state of conflict in Ethiopia with trepidation,” the Holy Father said, and added, “Once again I repeat with heartfelt concern that violence does not resolve discord, but only increases its tragic consequences.”

He went on to “appeal to those with political responsibility to end the suffering of the unarmed population and to find equitable solutions for lasting peace throughout the country.”


“May our prayers, solidarity, and necessary humanitarian aid not be lacking for our Ethiopian brothers and sisters, so sorely tried,” the Holy Father who also offered his condolences to all who are suffering from the severe flooding that has affected many countries in Africa added.

In August this year, media reports indicated that fighting 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 was quoted as reporting on August 31.

In a September 2 statement shared with ACI Africa, members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) expressed sadness at the resumption of war and said that they found it regrettable that many lives had already been lost as a result of the renewed 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 said.

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They added, “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.”

According to an October 25 report by the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, “The advance of the state army troops with Eritrean and Amhara militias aims at dealing a decisive blow to the rebels in Tigray.”

“Thousands of people took to the streets in Addis Ababa on Saturday (October 22) to condemn foreign interference in the war in Tigray, considered by pro-governments to be an internal Ethiopian matter,” the October 25 Agenzia Fides report indicates.

In the report, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is quoted as saying 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,” Mr. Ahmed has been quoted as saying. 


In his October 23 appeal, Pope Francis prayed that the “efforts of the parties for dialogue and the search for the common good lead to a genuine path of reconciliation.”

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.