Friday, April 19, 2024
NewsCalls for peace grow as conflict continues to stall Ethiopia’s progress

Calls for peace grow as conflict continues to stall Ethiopia’s progress

The National Dialogue Commission (NDC) is making urgent calls for peace across Ethiopia as ongoing tensions and violence threaten to further imperil the country’s stability and progress.

Speaking at a press conference this week, NDC Deputy Commissioner Hirut Gebreselassie urged an end to the use of force and a start to peaceful dialogue to resolve disputes.

Her message comes amid protracted conflicts in several regions.

Fighting continues between government forces and the rebel Oromo Liberation Front in parts of the Oromia region. Violence also persists between the Amhara Fano militia and federal troops, as well as in other areas like Benishangul Gumuz. Border tensions between Amhara and Tigray also risk destabilization.

“The situation demands an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities so that thorough national conversation can begin to find solutions,” Hirut stated.

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The NDC is working to convene representatives from diverse stakeholders, but violence in many areas is impeding progress, according to her.

Political disorder now defines the conflicts, according to Jabesa Gabisa of the OLF. “It is not feasible to have dialogue in a conflict zone. First there must be an end to disagreement and the start of communication,” he insisted.

Amhara parliament member Abebaw Desalew echoed similar concerns, warning that “until the government removed its armed forces from the Amhara region and made itself accessible for negotiations, there would be mayhem and no resolution to the problem.”

He also urged the government to open communications with conflicting groups enrolled in the military due to the flawed political system, to seek solutions.

“The pattern for every battle or conflict in the world is dialogue, which is the remedy,” stated Abebaw.

With conflicts still raging in many parts of Ethiopia despite the Pretoria peace deal ending war in Tigray, there are growing concerns the NDC may struggle to curb tensions through inclusive discussion alone.

Opposition parties have also questioned the commission’s impartiality.

Jebesa of the OLF said an “unbiased and inclusive commission is a must” for his party to participate in discussions.

Some critics also argue the NDC’s participant selection process has been slow.

The Commission reported that it was actively selecting participants and gathering preliminary agendas from diverse stakeholders across the nation, including the regions of Gambella, Benishangul Gumuz, South-West Ethiopia, Harari, Sidama, and the City Administration of Dire Dawa.

Dialogue commissioner Mesfin Araya (Professor) however said that ongoing violent conflicts are impeding national efforts.

He also insisted that disagreements be put on hold and that parties get together to talk about finding a solution.

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