Catholic Bishop in Ethiopia Decry Lack of Food, Medicine Weeks after Peace Agreement

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

Weeks after the peace deal between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was signed, the Bishop of the Eparchy of Adigrat has expressed concern about the continuing lack of basic needs in the Northern region of the country, including food, shelter, and medicine. 

In a report by the Information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin made reference to the November 2 agreement between TPLF and the Ethiopian government to a cease fire in the Tigray region, saying that internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue streaming into the Ethiopian Eparchy, which covers the Tigray region.

More than a month has passed since the agreement, but the sick continue without medicine, those who are hungry, do not have food, as well as all those who do not have shelter, continue to live in the same conditions," Bishop Medhin says in the report published December 17. 

The Ethiopian Catholic Bishop says that while it is “commendable that some humanitarian assistance arrives … it is far from what is expected to reach the millions of people in need.”

The Local Ordinary of Adigrat says the situation in Tigray “can only be resolved when the roads are reopened, when the occupying armies, whether from Eritrea or the Amara region, leave the places and the displaced can return to their places of origin.”


The November 2 “Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities”, which was brokered by the African Union in Pretoria, South Africa, put an end to the two-year conflict in Ethiopia’s northern region.

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.

In a joint statement issued after the deal was signed in Pretoria, South Africa, 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.

On November 25, the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) said Ethiopians are eagerly waiting for the results of the peace agreement.

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“We have followed with confidence the development of the peace agreements and now we wait with hope that they will produce effects,” Fr. Teshome Fikre Woldetensae said.

Fr. Woldetensae added that the people of God in the Horn of Africa nation find relief that “a climate of peace is beginning” in the nation following the two-year crisis that led to “enormous difficulties.”

In the December 17 Agenzia Fides report, Bishop Medhin says the Tigray region has become “overwhelmed by a multitude of newly displaced people who have arrived from the border areas.”

“More than 100,000 people live in the city and in the nearby villages, counting only on the help of other families,” the Ethiopian Catholic Church leader who started his Episcopal Ministry in January 2002 as Bishop of Adigrat says, adding that Tigrayan families are “taking care of five or six other families”.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.