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News: Ethiopian Catholic church says it was ‘misquoted’ as saying its aid activities are suspended in Tigray

Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, Head of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. Photo: Vatican News

Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12 

Addis Abeba, September 02/2021 – The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat issued a statement today asking for corrections of erroneous communication surrounding widely reported news of the church suspending aid in the Tigray region following the escalation of fighting and tensions in the region.

On August 27, Crux, a leading publication focusing on the Catholic Church activities, reported that “the Catholic Church in Ethiopia has suspended emergency delivery of aid in Tigray, following the escalation of fighting and tensions in the region in the country’s north.”

The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat stated that the Church was wrongly misquoted by media during when  the solidarity visit of AMECEA delegates had conference with Cardinal Berhaneyesus Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Abeba and with the President of the Catholic Bishops and the management of the General Secretariat  Ethiopia on August 20, 2021 in Addis Abeba.

The statement said that during that meeting it was discussed that due to the ongoing war between the federal government and the region, Tigray’s humanitarian operations were severely affected that resulted in disruption of supply, lack of stocks, cash, bank services, fuel and telecommunications. This situation, according to the statement, disrupted the Church from communication with the offices and the community in the Eparchy of Adigrat. 

The Secretariat underlined, “This statement was wrongly quoted as if the project intervention was suspended and the news was further echoed by other media too. Moreover, in the meeting we mentioned that the Church is trying hard to use various possible alternatives like using UN logistics clusters to send food items and using the UN flights to send cash to Adigrat.”

The statement expressed its regrets for any inconveniences the original statement of the Social Communication Department of the General Secretariat released on August 29, 2021 and confirmed that there has not been any suspension of humanitarian interventions in Tigray. AS

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