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Statement on the establishment of a National Dialogue Commission in Ethiopia

Vision Ethiopia _ National Dialogue Commission

Vision Ethiopia Statement
December 27, 2021 

It is with mixed feelings that the Board of Vision Ethiopia (VE) noted the  recent proposal on the establishment of a National Dialogue Commission,  with a stated mandate of bridging differences and charting “an inclusive way  forward for national understanding and alignment”. 

We applaud the government for launching the initiative to establish a  framework for building national consensus on critical issues through inclusive  national dialogue and consultation. 

By any measure, the essentiality of a national reconciliation framework for  Ethiopia is an incontrovertible imperative. While the forward-looking  objective of the proposed initiative is laudable, it is our view that its  mandate should be framed with the proper historical context, and that the  scope be expanded in congruence to the magnitude of the task it is intended  to tackle. In addition, the proposed institution must, as implied in the  preamble of the decree, be free of any political influence and fully  independent. In order for the institution to be independent from political  tampering, one essential requirement is that it must be run by members  nominated by entities outside of the influence of the Prime Minister and the  House of Peoples’ Representatives. Further, the promulgation of the initiative  should not be confounded with any of the efforts relating to the ongoing war  against the terrorist groups, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and  the armed-wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF-Shenie). Otherwise, any  perception of lack of institutional independence, narrowness of the scope of the mandate or intent of use as a diversionary scheme for the ongoing crises  is likely to dampen enthusiasm in the long-awaited institution.

National dialogue commissions, under such monikers as truth commissions,  or truth and reconciliation commissions, have long been considered a critical  element in the healing process of countries that have passed through a  period of traumatic and tragic experience. A notable example is the truth  and reconciliation commission of South Africa that was formed in 1995  following the collapse the apartheid system in that country. Despite its  imperfections, the South African model has served as a template for several  other countries, including Congo, Sierra Leone and even Chile. Another  example is the path taken by Argentina with the establishment of the so called National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons. The  differences in the sociopolitical backdrops of these countries  notwithstanding, the institutions that achieved some degree of success have  certain unmistakable commonalities, including their functions as instruments  of truth-seeking and other basic objectives such as reconciliation, justice,  reparation, and atonement. 

Thus, a truth and reconciliation framework in Ethiopia is not only a matter of  supreme urgency, but one that cannot be conceived as pertinently different from those witnessed in other nations. In fact, the proclamation of the  belatedly proposed National Dialogue is long overdue, and should have  happened in 2018, right after the termination of the tyrannical rule of the  TPLF by popular uprisings across the land. 

Thanks in part to the absence of an opportune national truth and  reconciliation framework, the ethno-terrorist groups, the TPLF and OLF Shenie, have continued to wreak devastating damage with impunity on large segments of the country’s population. Amharas and other followers of the Orthodox Christian church have been subjected to genocidal violence and  massive displacement in the Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions, while  the central government played no more than the role of a spectator member  of the unaffected groups. Predictably, the TPLF, emboldened by the  indecision of the central government, launched a surprise attack on the  Northern Command of the National Defense Forces, and massacred  thousands of the members in cold blood on the infamous night of November 3, 2020. Subsequently, the central government declared a perplexing  unilateral ceasefire and unleashed the terrorist group to plunder, massacre  and pillage the Amhara and Afar regions with no accountability. Millions of  Amhara and Afari people were displaced, young and old women were raped,  countless innocent civilians of the regions were murdered, and incalculable  damage was inflicted on public and private property. Then, on December  23rd, 2021, the government paradoxically let the criminal group retreat to  the Tigray region, under the façade of flimsy and curious reasons, further  exposing the unarmed inhabitants of the Amhara region to perpetual threats  and attacks by the terrorist groups. 

The government continues to exacerbate the fragile situation in the country  by incarcerating dissidents, such as Eskinder Nega, and journalists, in the  likes of Meaza Mohammed and Tamirat Negerra, who are known to be  critical of Oromumma extremism and genocidal violence. 

Externally, the country is under constant assault by the West, and  neighboring Arab League member nations, thanks in part to the strategic  and geopolitical importance of the region. Western media and other  establishments have brought to bear their full might to destabilize the  country using the TPLF and other terror groups as their Trojan horses.

Ethiopia can ensure its survival only through the unity of its people, who  have been divided along ethnic lines by the poisonous apartheid constitution  imposed on them by the TPLF terrorist group. Therefore, it is of utmost  importance to lay a robust foundation for national reconciliation that is built  on trust, accountability and reparation to ensure lasting peace, unity and  stability.  

Thus, the Board of VE strongly believes that the following are essential ingredients to chart a viable roadmap for the proposed Commission for a  National Dialogue: 

• A genuine mandate that is modelled after similar initiatives in other  countries. The mandate should include truth, justice, reconciliation,  atonement and reparation; 

• Absolute independence of the institutions from political influence. This  includes, but is not limited to, non-interference by the government in the  appointment process of the officers of the Commission; and 

• A clear affirmation of underlying principles, including the inviolability of  the unity and territorial integrity of the country and the primacy of  individual rights. 

Board of Vision Ethiopia
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  1. Subject: “Statement on the establishment of a National Dialogue Commission in Ethiopia, ision Ethiopia Statement, December 28, 2021

    Humble Commentary,
    It is an excellent idea and well defined. It should be admired
    Now, to the big questions: IMPLEMENTATION and KEEPING IT UP.
    Let us be honest to ourselves: Can we maintain the project for a duration of “fruitfulness”?
    Let us be frank: OUR history of such projects, and so many other undertakings, is well known &t; we can start; but not finish.(1)

    Honourable Board of Vision Ethiopia (VE): Permit me to be daring and ask: Are you prepared and determined to accomplish the task to its fruition , at any cost? It is an honest question arising from countless example of “OK tomorrow and NEVER finish it (2)

    It is obvious that our backwardness is the result of so many different excuses like the above where WE BLACK AFRICANS found ourselves not serious with our desire of undertakings.

    And to the notorious White Colonial Force, it is a gem of a description to them pertaining to Black Africans. It is a delight to them as a proof of the unique characteristic of “THE LAZY BLACK AFRICANS” . It is colonial intention to keep Black Africans according to the label that they themselves created and consequently the Black Man unconsciously accepted the label and act accordingly as a perfect slave who lost himself and his property. It is the cruelest Act by White RACE against the Black Africans who lost his African-ness and his Humanity and lost his Property. How about the Educated Africans ??? That is a subject by itself where the African wound–up imitating the White Man and consequently ‘running away’ from himself .. OH DEAR AFRICA — even the almighty GOD cannot help you, regardless of your faithful prayers. ___ day in , day out.

    What was the story about a white man coming to Africa attired as a priest but wound up being the owner of Africa and the African farmer wound up being a Priest. WE have a long, long, long way to go ……….
    (1) ‘mejemer enji metcheres anchlewum ‘
    (2) ‘eshe negge’

  2. The plan deserves all the kudos and green lights that come with it. We all have been calling for and advocating for such gathering of the level heads. It triggered ‘about time’ response from this beyond-repair Afro/Ethio-Centric when he read about it. Those upright and peace/harmony mongering people have been asking for it since the 1970’s. Let’s hope and pray that this blessed call shall succeed. Insha’Allah!!!!


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