Ethiopians “wait with hope” Results of Recently Signed Peace Agreement: Catholic Priest

Credit: Agenzia Fides

The people of God in Ethiopia are waiting “with hope” to see the “effects” of the recently signed peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the General Secretary of the  Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) has said.

In a report by the Information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, Fr. Teshome Fikre Woldetensae reacts to the peace agreement that the Ethiopian government and TPLF reached in South Africa on November 2, pledging to “permanently silence the guns and end the two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia”. 

“We have followed with confidence the development of the peace agreements and now we wait with hope that they will produce effects,” Fr. Woldetensae has been quoted as saying in the report published November 25.

He adds, "Despite the enormous difficulties caused by the crisis, the effects of the conflicts, climate change, and the severe drought that are affecting our country, the population at least finds relief in the fact that a 'climate of peace' is beginning." 

The CBCE General Secretary says that people are exhausted by the war that has not only destroyed lives but also property and relationships between communities.


“The Church in Ethiopia has long been committed to resolving the conflicts in Tigray and in the Oromia region in the west of the country,” he says, and adds, “Due to the war the number of displaced persons increased.”

The Ethiopian Catholic Priest goes on to say that while some of the victims are relocating to their original homes, some others are still in refugee camps.

Conflict in the Tigray region started in November 2020 when TPLF allegedly launched an attack on Ethiopia’s Federal Government Army base in the region.

TPLF and people in the Tigray region were reportedly opposed to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s bid to centralize power in Africa's second most populous country.

The “Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities” was brokered by the African Union (AU) and mediated by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, assisted by the immediate former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and former South African Deputy President, Mlambo-Ngcuka.

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In a joint statement issued after signing the deal in Pretoria, TPLF and the Ethiopian government agreed to implement transitional measures that include restoring Constitutional order in Tigray, solving political differences, and a Transitional Justice Policy framework to ensure accountability, reconciliation, truth, and healing.

In the November 25 Agenzia Fides report, the CBCE official expresses the hope that “systems will be put in place to ensure that the commitments and promises made by the parties are honored.”

He says that there are signs of peace since “humanitarian corridors are open and many organizations are sending their support in convoys.”

Fr. Woldetensae also highlights the Church’s effort in aiding those who were displaced by the conflict in the nation, saying, “We have tried to help children and internally displaced people in refugee camps who lack everything, even basic necessities.”

He says that the Church in collaboration with Caritas in Parishes is feeding as many children as possible in families, schools, and refugee camps.


In the report, Fr. Woldetensae is said to have told Agenzia Fides that Africa's second most populous country is currently experiencing the challenge of climate change.

“The southern and eastern parts of the country are hardest hit. The crisis of the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has led to an increase in the cost of living around the world, has also hit us hard, with the poorest suffering the most,” says the General Secretary of CBCE.

He adds, “Many families have lost their resources and livestock due to the drought, leading to an increase in malnutrition rates of children and the elderly.”

The Ethiopian Priest also discloses the existence of another conflict in the country’s Western region, which he says is not being reported by the media.

He says that the conflict that has not attracted the interest of any international organization has displaced so many people and “every day many people are dying in the guerrilla fighting in that area.”

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“Now that the conflict in Tigray has attracted international attention, we also need to look at the other flashpoints that involve so many other parts of the country. In general, little attention has been paid to this emergency, there is still little humanitarian aid for the displaced people,” the Catholic Church official says.

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.