Ethiopian Bishops: No one should be killed because of identity or religion
By Vatican News staff reporter
Ethiopia’s Catholic bishops have decried the killing of more than 300 ethnic Amarhans in an attack in the Oromiya region in the western part of the country last month.
In a statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia says, “The Church strongly condemns the killing of innocent people in Gambella and western Wollega, mostly women and children.”
The Bishops note, “In recent years in various areas of our country, actions contrary to any religious teaching have been repeated, leading to death, displacement and migration.” They reiterated their “deep” concern “about the dangerous situation in which the population finds itself in their country and in their families.”
The Bishops insist, “There is no acceptable reason that can lead to the death and humiliation of a human being.”
Ethiopian government leaders have blamed last month's attacks on the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), a banned splinter group of an opposition party. However, the OLA has rejected the accusation, pointing instead to militias connected to the ruling party. They claim federal troops in the area did nothing to stop the slaughter.
Last year, the OLA made an alliance with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which has been leading an insurgency against the central government since 2020.
However, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch notes, “Well before the conflict in northern Ethiopia, there has been widespread impunity for ongoing rights abuses in Ethiopia's Oromiya region, including in areas already suffering from conflict.”