Ethiopia: National Peace Conference Kicks Off in Addis


A national conference aimed at strengthening the value of peaceful coexistence among religions in Ethiopia kicked off on Tuesday in Addis Ababa. The three-day conference is jointly organized by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and the Ethiopian Inter Religious Council.

The conference is being held under the theme “We shall strive to realize Ethiopia’s renaissance through strengthening the value of religious coexistence and respecting constitutional provisions”.

On the occasion, Minister of Federal Affairs, Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam said the conference would help exploit the age-old religious respect and tolerance in Ethiopia to consolidate peace, democracy and development.

It would also help bring national consensus on state-religion relations, he said.

Ethiopian Inter Religious Council for its part asserted readiness to strengthen cooperation among member institutions, build upon the existing tradition of peaceful coexistence and contribute to national development.

Member institutions would work together to stamp out the acts of extremism from the country, it said.

In his opening remarks at the conference, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn called on religious institutions and their followers to keep up their excellent job of unmasking the undercover operations of religious fundamentalists.

Hailemariam also warned those whom he said are operating to promote intolerance under the disguise of religion to refrain from their unhelpful acts.

He said the government would continue taking legal measures against such attempts by religious fundamentalists.

Papers covering historical background and current status of religious coexistence as well as the roots and remedies of religious fanaticism, among others, would be presented and discussed in the course of the conference.

More than 2,000 people from around the country are represented at the three-day national conference which is being held at the African Union Conference Hall in Addis Ababa.