Pope appeals for peace in Ethiopia, prays for unity in Italy

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Pope Francis on Sunday (October 24) offered his prayers for Ethiopia ahead of peace talks to be held in South Africa. 

“Once again, I heartily reiterate that violence does not resolve problems but only increases their tragic consequences,” Francis told faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly Angelus prayer.

Peace talks on the war in Ethiopia are due to start on Monday (October 24) in South Africa following earlier commitments by the government and Tigray forces to participate. 

A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis leading the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer from the window of his office overlooking Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City, 23 October 2022. EPA-EFE/VATICAN MEDIA HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

The Ethiopian government and its allies, which include Eritrea’s military, have been fighting Tigray forces in the north of the country on and off since late 2020. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions, and left hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine.

Both sides had committed to talks earlier this month, but they were delayed for logistical reasons.

The Pontiff said “I follow with concern about the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia. Once again, I heartily reiterate that violence does not resolve problems but only increases their tragic consequences. I appeal to political leaders to end the suffering of the defenseless people and find equitable solutions for lasting peace throughout the country. May the efforts of the parties for dialogue and the pursuit of the common good lead to a concrete path of reconciliation. May our Ethiopian brothers and sisters not lack our prayers. Please do not forget to pray for our Ethiopian brothers and sisters who are so severely affected and do not forget to offer them our solidarity and the humanitarian assistance they need.”

Italian Government

After his Angelus prayer, the pontiff also welcomed Italy’s new government, led by the first Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. 

“At the start of a new government, let us pray for the unity and peace of Italy,” Francis said.

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