Interfaith Council leaders say leaders in Tigray ready for peace

Leaders in Tigray regional state claim that the problem is not between them and the Federal government

June 16, 2020

A delegation composed of 52 individuals drawn from Ethiopian Interfaith Council leaders and prominent figures on Monday had a meeting with TPLF leaders, including Debretsion Gebremichale who is the chairman of the organization and president of Tigray region, in Mekelle.

The mediators claim that the effort is their own initiative and had nothing with the ruling party in the country – Prosperity Party (PP). 

State-owned media like Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) and Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) did not cover the story. 

The meeting between the mediators and Tigray regional state leaders was a closed one and no media was allowed.

“The discussion was about peace,” Pastor Daniel who is a member of the mediating team told reporters in Mekelle after the meeting, as reported by VOA Amharic service. 

The mediators say TPLF leaders in Tigray regional state have confirmed their interest in and readiness for peace. 

Debretsion Gebremichale, president of the region, is cited as saying “we are ready to be part of a meeting that you [religious leaders] call at any time.” 

Based on VOA Amharic, TPLF leaders seem to be keen to exploit the opportunity to position themselves as leaders of political forces that are opposing the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party. 

The leaders in Tigray assert that the problem is a national one, and it requires a national solution. 

Dr. Abraham Tekeste, Tigray Region Urban Development, and Trade and Industry office head said “The problem is not between Tigray region and the Federal government. The problem is national, and it requires a national dialogue.” 

The Federal government or Prosperity Party officials have not remarked about TPLF’s position.  The mediating team has a plan to travel to Amhara, Oromia, and Somali regions of Ethiopia. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has established, about a year or so ago,  a Truce and Reconciliation Committee to resolve political problems in the country. However, not a concrete result is obtained so far.  

Tigray regional sate leaders have decided to conduct election in the region without authorization from National Electoral Board of Ethiopia which is one of the reasons for the tension.

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