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HomeOpinionWould there be a peace negotiation in Ethiopia : Lessons from Rwanda 

Would there be a peace negotiation in Ethiopia : Lessons from Rwanda 

Currently, Ethiopia is passing through a non-predictable outcome. The whole world including Ethiopians believed there was a change of Regime in 2018, after the 2005 election in Ethiopia most of the opposition voices died and created an acquiesce atmosphere of the general public over the oppressing regime of EPRDF but this ambiance didn’t last for long and brought another strong chain of protests which managed to crack the EPRDF into two units following an internal power contestation.  Nevertheless the protesters’ sacrifices were used to get a better power position in the leading party.

The infamous split of  EPRDF  happened in 2018, creating two strong entities with the same leading ideology but different political capital and ethnic backgrounds. The subtle power friction resulted in bringing the current Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed Ali to power hold,  who gave hope of bringing a change to Ethiopians  and those interested in the country’s future, as it’s the same party with the identical  ideology from the parent party EPRDF the leadership fell short by repeating the same mistakes which the youth of Ethiopia protest against.    

After the change, the party EPRDF split into two and created political fortresses in Addis Ababa and Mekele, The Addis Ababa group changed its name to Prosperity Party (PP) with only party reforms, but the Mekele half stayed the same with zero party alliance making it solely Tigray’s People Liberation Front (TPLF) where it has started some three decades ago. This made TPLF the black ship. With its wrong political calculations carried through its 27 years of oppression, crime, genocidal acts, and human rights abuses made the party a bystander in the Ethiopian political Arena. 

 Because of the inherent character of the leading party, OPDO/PP in Ethiopia is no different from its parent EPRDF. It took a very small time to start State-sponsored killings and internal displacements of ethnic Amharas by installing a new Governmental project called Oromummaa. Because of all these crimes unveiling; Ethiopians started to question if the change was genuine  or not, yet what most forget was the protest only managed to split the party and withdraw the former oppressor and bring a new one.

The outcome of the protests was only a shift from a Tigray political dominance to an Oromo one, amid all these problems happening the conundrum brought by Abiy Ahmed was to name his new party Prosperity party which again ended in bringing nothing new from the former TPLF led government. While all these were happening TPLF from Tigray was waiting for an opportune moment to resume its power in the capital. Covid-19 was a lottery ticket for TPLF to swing some heavy shots on the leading gov’t.  TPLF believed its a golden ticket to Addis Ababa if they put  the leading party In a legitimacy question. 

The power struggle landed in conducting a brutal civil war with the federal government in late 2020, which made ethnic Amharas pass through a genocide and war crimes. As the war added to the already happening genocide, massacre, and internal displacements by the Abiy Ahmed regime and its mercenary group Oromo Libration Front’s army (OLF-Shene), it made the suffering of ethnic Amharas go on a hyperbole. The first civil war ended in a very catastrophic human rights abuses to genocidal crimes against the people of Amhara. Because  the whole world gave a blind eye to these heinous crimes, ethnic Amharas continue to face countless genocides and human rights abuse in the non warring areas like Oromia, Benishangul gumuz and Addis Ababa to say the least. Meanwhile, TPLF & GOLF-Scene were designated a “terrorist” group in May 2021.

 No one expected there would be another war happening in Ethiopia but it happened as a “war for war crimes” with no objective goal. In this war, the government of Ethiopia was able to defend the two critical wings of the war which are  Afar and Welkait and leave the rest.  This enabled  TPLF forces to move deep into the Amhara lands of Wollo and Shewa. In the first war, GOE lost its international community support because of war crime allegations from the Tigray side, the government tried its best to contest the allegations by directly attacking the IC and the US specifically through a popular movement called NO MORE.

 The movement #NOMORE was so aggressive that some feared it might bring homegrown terrorism to US soil.  A resentment over the  US, made a political shift of support to the Russian Federation, Some believed  the country might take the stride to reignite the former Ethiopian Pres. Mengistu times  of communism which sidelined the US out of the horn of Africa politics. Nonetheless, the Ethiopian government’s aggressive move over the IC failed miserably. But This doesn’t stop the gov’t from using the second TPLF aggression as a crime balancing war by using a term called “tactical retreat”.

 Closing the two critical corridors and leaving other areas unprotected  let the TPLF army move in the hearts of Amhara lands without a challenge which enabled them to commit  war crimes of a very high magnitude. This left the Amhara people under the water. This plan of the gov’t was so successful that the IC started to show a soft heart to the GOE, which even  pressured the IC to think about bringing peace by putting these two war criminal gov’t fragments on a negotiating table. 

Failed Negotiation of war criminals and The case of Rwanda  

July 1992 was the time when the peace talks started in Rwanda to bring two big actors The AKAZU Interahamwe embedded gov’t and the RPF to the negotiation table, both parties are known for war crime and rampant civilian targeted genocide  in  Rwanda and Burundi.  The UN was able to introduce the UNAMIR mission and tried to impose the ARUSHA accords in August 1993, yet the peace talks and arrangements failed. while these all peace arrangements were happening Rwanda was   passing through war crimes for consecutive three years , the very obvious mistake that the International community did was trying to bring criminals in a negotiating table, the only way to it should have been stopping the civil war and start an independent investigation to clear out the war and genocide criminals and proceed to negotiation. Because of the failure to see the shortcomings of sitting parties whose hands are soaked in crime Rwanda faced one of the deadliest genocide in the history of mankind.   This happened while the whole world was wide awake and under the presence of the UN peacekeepers. 

What should the International community learn from Rwanda 

The writer believes and advises that before creating peace, accountability and justice shall prevail, then any peace talks and negotiations can be produced because the air is cleared from the violent actors. 

The case of Ethiopia: currently Ethiopia is passing through a brutal civil war in the north and government-sponsored genocide in Oromia, most give a lazy eye to the later, because the focus is on the war.  Oromia a region where there is an abundant Ethnic diversity has become a prison of Ethnic groups and minorities because of the enabling regional constitution which ushered an Oromo ethnic group hegemony leaving other ethnic groups without any political representation and this Single-handedly helped  the government-sponsored genocide to go unnoticed.  

 Because of the war in the North, the International Community (IC) & Human Rights watchdog undermined the current ongoing genocide in Wollega & other parts of Ethiopia against ethnic Amharas. The victims numbers are growing every day as well as the IDPs that are in a gruesome situation that is leading to an Apocalypse. These two big phenomenons should be dealt with in an inseparable manner. Negotiations of criminals might only bring a non-confidential ceasefire which will then erupt as a bloody war any time soon. because  the warring actors are on hold of their warring armies. To fix the current issue in Ethiopia the IC must push for justice before any peace talks and negotiations. Otherwise the peace talks will fail drastically like the Arusha accords of Rwanda.  

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