A row within the Ethiopian Orthodox church, the largest religious group in the country, has been resolved after a group of breakaway clergy held discussions with representatives from the main church, according to a statement from the church’s leadership.
Senior government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are said to have participated in the talks alongside elders appointed to reconcile the rival groups.
The synod, the church’s leadership, had previously accused the authorities of supporting the breakaway clergy who are mostly from the Oromia region, where Mr Abiy hails from.
The state’s rights watchdog, the Ethiopian Human Right Commission, had accused security forces of applying excessive forces against followers of the main church.
At least eight people were killed in a town in Oromia.
As tensions grew, lawyers representing the main church said hundreds of adherents had been detained, including some who were taken to an army camp.
The row began when the breakaway archbishops appointed dozens of bishops without the knowledge of the church, accusing the synod of lacking diversity and failing to reach the faithful in their native language.
The breakaway clergy have now submitted a letter of apology to the synod and they are expected to be welcomed back.
According to the agreement, the three archbishops who had broken away from the church will keep their titles and reunite with the synod.
The 25 clergy they had appointed will lose their recent titles and retain the ones they were holding before.
A consensus has been reached to strengthen theological training colleges and universities that can reach the faithful through the Afaan Oromo language