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Four consultation forums on transitional justice policy options cancelled due to security issues

Amhara region  Security _ State of Emergency
Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet in early August this year imposed a six months state of emergency in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. (Photo : file/PD)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The four consultation forums planned to be held on transitional justice policy options have not been conducted due to the security problems in Amhara and Oromia Regions, sources said. 

The group of experts that has been gathering input on transitional justice policy options in about 50 towns across Ethiopia disclosed here yesterday that four of the total 59 consultation forums could not be conducted due to the current security issues. But the group has planned to finalise the draft transitional justice policy document in early November 2023, Ethiopia Insider reported.

An expert group of 14 members, which is supposed to produce a transitional justice policy document, came into being last November 2022 by the Ministry of Justice, according to the news source. Ethiopia Insider said that the same expert group drew up a roadmap last November 2022 to process its consultations on transitional justice policy options.

The group of experts disclosed through the statement it released yesterday that after reaching 46 towns, the consultation forum, which was launched in Adama Town wound up in a discussion held in Adigrat Town in mid August 2023. A member of the expert group, Mareshet Tadesse ( Dr.) said that although the total number of consultation forums planned by the group was 59, the implementation of four has failed due to security reasons.

Dr. Mareshet told Ethiopia Insider that the towns where the expert group could not hold consultations are Dembidolo and Yabelo in Oromia Region and Sekota and Debre-Markos in Amhara Region. Apart from the stated towns, the group of experts did not hold the consultation forums in Welkait and Humera Towns, which have remained bones of contention between  Amhara and Tigray Regions, Ethiopia Insider said.

Dr. Mareshet raised in his briefing to Ethiopia Insider that though conflict happening in various parts of the country has become a “challenge” against the group’s activities, it is “mandatory” to carry out the transitional justice process. Mareshet says that the current security problems in various areas “magnify” the importance of the process. He further said that the transitional justice policy preparation in which he is participating would “help bring about things to a better state.”

Members of the expert group stressed in the statement that in order to implement the transitional justice policy, it is necessary to create “relative peace in all areas”. If the problems are not solved, it will be difficult to carry out the implementation process in a complete way, Mareshet said. 

Another member of the group of experts, Tadesse Kassa (Dr.), said that there are activities to be accomplished by the expert group before the transition policy comes into effect.

Dr. Tadesse indicated that the group’s next task is to “organise and analyse in a systematic way” the input collected through consultations held in 47 towns. Following this analysis,  the next task is to prepare a summary report, Tadesse said. He further said that a draft policy document would be prepared in the coming “few weeks”. Another member of the group, Dr. Mareshet, told “Ethiopia Insider” that the group of experts would plan to finalise the draft transitional justice policy document in early November. 

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