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WCC praises peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea

WCC praises peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea

Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

10 July 2018

After the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a declaration saying that the war between the two countries is over, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit praised the agreement as opening a new door for peace in the region.

After a border conflict between 1998-2000, the countries, which have seen tension for many years, have agreed to re-establish trade and diplomatic ties.

“I am very encouraged by this landmark agreement that carries with it great hope for communities and families who have waited for so long for justice and peace,” said Tveit. “We stand by you as you continue your daily lives with this new sense of hope.”

The peace declaration came during a meeting between the two countries' leaders in Eritrea's capital, Asmara. The summit marked the first time Eritrean president Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed had met for nearly two decades.

“While we observe with great joy this moment of peace, we also pause to mourn the lives of the tens of thousands of people who have been killed in the conflict,” said Tveit. “We pray peace will not only be in the news headlines but also bear out in the daily lives of people as they face a new future. We encourage the churches to be engaged in the implementation of the peace process.”