WMC STATEMENT ON ETHIOPIAN/TIGRAY REGION HUMANITARIAN CONFLICT

#SilenceTheGuns, African Resolution by African Leaders for African Conflict

The World Methodist Council (WMC), joins the World Council of Churches (WCC) in its
condemnation of violent attacks in the Tigray region of conflict in Ethiopia. In addition,
WMC General Secretary, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, hears with deep distress that UNHCR, the
UN’s refugee agency, reports that women, children and men have crossed the border at a
rate of 4,000 per day in Tigray, adding to more than 100,000 Eritrean refugees in four camps
in Tigray who were displaced in the 1998-2000 Ethiopia-Eritrea border war.
In the light of WMC’s call on the United Nations to adopt UNSCR 2532 and support a global
ceasefire amidst the Coronavirus (2) pandemic, WMC General Secretary appeals to all
African political, civil and faith leaders in the African Union to support #SilenceTheGuns,
an African initiative to address African problems by Africa’s leaders.

The WMC further notes that AU President, HE President Cyril Ramaphosa, emphasised in a
meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister, HE Sahle-Work Zewde that “Ethiopia occupies a
place of pride and honour in the history of Africa, having successfully resisted colonialism,
and played a leading role in the decolonization of Africa. The decision of the Founding
Fathers that Africa’s foremost Continental organisation, the Organisation for African Unity
(OAU), should be established and headquartered in Addis Ababa, was a fitting tribute to
Ethiopia’s role as a symbol of African unity.” Ramaphosa indicated, however, that “the
ongoing conflict … is a matter of great concern not only for countries in the region of the
Horn of Africa, but for the continent as a whole.”

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, in response to #SilenceTheGuns initiative, therefore, “calls on the
‘People called Methodist’ as well as all humans globally to be mindful of and work in every
way possible for an end to this historic, regional conflict and to seek the promotion of a
just, peaceful and sustainable solution to this … fragile conflict in Africa.” “We call on all
people who are committed to global solidarity to mourn the unnecessary loss of life and
look to the legacy of historic peace and co-existence that Ethiopia has been and remains
able to contribute toward the future of African co-existence, humanitarian peace and
solidarity.” To this end, the WMC calls on its membership on the African continent and in
the rest of the world to support the African Union President, HE Cyril Ramaphosa’s deep
desire “that the conflict … be brought to an end through dialogue between the conflict
ridden parties and that such initiative be viewed against the background of the African
Union’s objective of #SilenceTheGuns, intended to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent
genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts,
human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.”

The WMC calls on all to pray, work and call for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict
raging in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and the Horn of Africa: “God of healing, light and
compassion; we bring to You all who suffer in body, mind or spirit as a result of war and
conflict in Ethiopia or because of fears, suspicions raised by cultural, religious or human
differences. We pray for all who seek refuge, for those who have been displaced from
family, livelihoods or securities. Show them Your mercy and compassion, O Lord and grant
strength to those who seek victims’ relief in any form of distress; for Your Name’s sake.
God bless Africa. Guide her leaders. Guard her children; And give her peace. Amen”

Statement prepared by Keith Vermeulen, Researcher, WMC

Recommended Posts