Ceremony Ethiopia

Opening service for WCC Ecumenical Water Network's Lenten campaign "Seven weeks for water" in St. Mary's cathedral of Ethiopian Orthodox church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1 March 2017.


Rev. Charles Berahino, a Burundian who is the executive secretary Peace and Diakonia at the All Africa Conference of Churches, said it was sad that the situation had continued to deteriorate, with sporadic fighting continuing and the people moving inside and out of the region to escape the violence.

“The people within and those in camps will continue to suffer unless something is done urgently,” said Berahino.

The cleric’s comments came as reports suggested that nearly 4.5 million people in the region were on the verge of starvation. This is after the continued armed clashes and other war-related conditions hindered the movement of humanitarian aid. People desperately need food, medicines, water and shelter.

Conflict is believed to have killed hundreds, displaced thousands and left millions in need of humanitarian aid. An estimated 50,000 have also fled heavy artillery and airstrikes, and settled as refugees in neighbouring Sudan.

“It is sad the government did not see dialogue as something to consider and brought in the military. The situation needed dialogue. We still continue thinking and asking for dialogue,” said Berahino. “The people need to talk, and if there is talking there will be peace and healing. The two are needed in Tigray.”

Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Addis Ababa, urged solidarity and charity with Ethiopia’s suffering.

“We hear every time, the cries and suffering of many, and displacement. The killing of people should come to a stop,” said the Souraphiel.  

Two months since the governments declared the end of the conflict, the humanitarian aid reaching the people remains at a drop, due to sporadic fighting and government bureaucracy.

UNHCR says it is unable to access two camps hosting Eritrea refugees in Tigray, where the humanitarian situation of the migrants is believed to be worsening.

WCC member churches in Ethiopia