By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – MPs say that they have no clear information on the execution of the peace agreement signed in Pretoria between the Federal Government and TPLF. The Weekly Amharic Reporter wrote that House representatives expressed grievances over the unclear implementation of the agreement signed between the two rival groups. The MPs said this during the 6th round and 2nd year extraordinary meeting conducted at the House to remove TPLF from the list of terrorism.
Government representative at the House, Tesfaye Belijigie presented decision-making points based on the Pretoria peace agreement that as TPLF agreed to refrain from acts of terrorism and as per the proclamation No.1176/12 Article 24 sub article 2 that declares prevention and control of terrorism.
Tesfaye said substantiating his points that as the ant-constitutional movement of TPLF was reversed following the Pretoria Peace agreement and with the view of resolving differences through dialogues, it has become significant to remove TPLF from the list of terrorism.
Following the decision-making briefings, members of the House reacted by forwarding several questions. Kidist Araaya is a member of Prosperity Party. She was among those MPs who voiced their oppositions on the agenda. “She said that disarmament is one of the other points of the agreements. TPLF has not pleaded guilty and failed to respect the agreement. Then removing it from the list of terrorism can encourage other arrogant forces? The measure to be taken is untimely and TPLF has not yet pulled out its force from the invaded areas. I personally feel that this is not the time to lift TPLF designation as a terrorist group. What will I tell, regarding this, to the people who elected me?” Kidist enquired.
Kidist said that law and order should be respected. Without this, removing the name from the list must not be ratified, according to her.
The other House member, Abraham Berta (Dr.), who represents Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice requested for manifestation of TPLF’s regression from the acts of terrorism. “Can we have an official manifestation for this?” he asked.
Abraham insisted that TPLF should not be removed from the list of terrorism, as it has not asked pardon for the crimes it perpetrated over the past 27 years. It should be known that TPLF has still been recruiting and drilling new entrants, according to Abraham. “The ruling party should stop cheek-kissing with TPLF. It should rather ensure that there is no more death, displacement and destruction caused by the group.”
Member of the Amhara National Movement, Desalegn Chane (Dr.) said that though the government is doing things patiently, I have no any belief that TPLF is working for peace. “Though we are told TPLF is disarmed and sent its fighters to rehabilitation centers, nothing has been implemented but it is sarcasm,” Desalegn said.
He further said that TPLF’s actual acts of recruiting and conducting military training have been a threat for people residing near borders. Desalegn asked whether the government could give guarantees that TPLF would abide by the peace agreement, collaborate for the implementation of sustainable peace, and it will not raise arms to wage war for the fourth time.
Responding to the raised questions, Minister of Justice, Gedion Timotios said that lifting the designation of TPLF as a terrorist group would help make the peace agreement sustainable and productive. “Lifting the designation will help to facilitate initiatives being undertaken under the interim government, to reinstate legal process, to promote peaceful lives among the people, to send back children to school, to help them get medical treatments at hospitals and to transfer subsidy budget ratified by the House,” Gedion said.
Chief negotiator of the peace agreement from the government side, Redwan Hussien said that disarming would not work only for Tigray. He said none except the Defense Force should possess large weaponry. According to him, all illegal weapons should be collected from all corners of the country and citizens should move freely by carrying only sledge and plowshares.
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