February 16,2022 (ENA) Religious institutions and the leaders need to redouble efforts towards bringing peaceful resolution of conflicts, according to peace and conflict resolution experts.
Inter Religious Council of Ethiopia kicked off today a two-day consultative meeting that discussed the role of religious leaders and institutions in preventing and mitigating conflicts in Ethiopia.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Peace Building and Conflict Resolution expert Geleta Simesso said that though peaceful resolution of conflicts has been on the rise over the last few months a lot remains to be done.
He added that dialogue and peaceful ways of resolving conflicts are gaining momentum.
“The religious fathers need to be very cautious of what they are teaching and should openly resist any movement of conflict and stand for peace and justice. I mean they should not be just passersby and we need to be a little bit stronger,” the expert emphasized.
He further noted that even if there were some efforts by religious leaders to resolve conflicts through peaceful means, they were not as desired. “Had it been so we would not have witnessed such magnitude of conflicts in the country.”
According to him, religious leaders can assist the National Dialogue Forum by providing technical support, creating awareness among the followers as well as praying.
Geleta further stressed that peace is an expensive commodity that cannot come overnight. Therefore, the public should be patient.
Peace and Reconciliation expert, Garedew Assefa said on his part that resolving conflicts through dialogue is essential and requires sitting at the round table and discussing.
“For the religious institutions, peace is a primary commodity they preach about. For that reason, religious leaders can use their institutions to reach people for a national peaceful solution. And we have to make use of the religious leaders for the National Dialogue Forum.”
According to him, creating awareness about the importance of the national dialogue and supporting the facilitators by monitoring their accountability are the critical areas of support.
Garedew further stressed the need to focus on peace, social cohesion, and peaceful coexistence.