World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Lasting peace and security in Ethiopia

05 October 2005

Letter to H.E. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, 5 October, 2005


Your Excellency,

It is with deep appreciation I thank you for the cordial welcome you gave me
and my delegation during our recent visit in your beloved country. We left Ethiopia
with fond memories and admiration for its history, culture and hospitality. This
indeed is what makes Ethiopia and its people unique.

Thanks to Your Excellency's leadership, Ethiopia is at the threshold of introducing
a strong and vibrant democratic system based on justice. It was therefore
encouraging to see the engagement and struggle of all the political parties to
ensure that this wonderful opportunity of bringing lasting peace, security and
respect for the dignity of all Ethiopians is not lost. While appreciating and understanding
the different viewpoints and political dynamics that are unfolding I
remain aware that this has to be handled with utmost care and sensitivity in order
to avoid misunderstanding and conflict.

The mediation initiatives of the Ambassadors of United States and Britain to
bring the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and opposition parties,
namely Coalition for Unity and Democracy and United Ethiopian Democratic
Forces, together to resolve their political differences through negotiation will lead
to a healthy political environment. Peace in Ethiopia is very important as it is
bound to have a positive impact on the Horn of Africa.

I take this opportunity to congratulate you and the leaders of the opposition
parties on this wise and farsighted decision to move in this right direction to
resolve differences and disagreements through dialogue in the larger interest of
the people of Ethiopia. Peace, security and stability are prerequisites for development
in Africa in order to eradicate poverty. Your Excellency's efforts to place the
country on a democratic path will provide a shining example for other African
countries to follow.

I therefore urge Your Excellency to continue to pursue dialogue and also call
upon opposition leaders to reciprocate this gesture in order to strengthen the
process of democratization in Ethiopia.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary

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