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How independent, reliable is the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission, the handiwork of the government?  

Ethiopian-National Dialogue-Commission

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission (ENDC) is saying that preparations are underway to launch peace talk between Fano and the Federal Government. The Commission said recently regarding the fight being undertaken between the Amhara militants, Fano, and the state security forces, that the two warring parties should observe unconditional ceasefire and come round the table for peace dialogue.

Deputy Commissioner of ENDC, Yonas Adaye (Dr.) said that the Commission has taken the initiative to draw the two warring parties together for peaceful dialogue. He further said that his commission has started approaching the two parties regarding the talks.

Following this, many  people and media outlets are expressing doubt concerning the clear stand of the Commission to mediate the said dialogue. They enquire if the ENDC is a neutral body that can shoulder this big national responsibility in a non-partisan manner. Can the armed militants be comfortable enough to accept the arbitration role the Commission has been bestowed upon by the incumbent government? How reliable is it in terms of impartiality? How can a national handiwork commission of the government be an independent mediator?  

Some say that the government violated local reconciliation efforts mediated regularly by elderly people and religious fathers and tried to stab Fano in the back. Fano in particular has experienced such incidents during the recent fight in Amhara. The experience is that two reconciliations and arbitrations conducted previously ended with treason from the government side, according to some observers. “Taking this into consideration, how can the federal government be trusted?” they ask.

The other thing is related to the neutrality of the commissioners who are in charge of leading ENDC. A media outlet aired hesitation whether there is a real commitment from this side. Ethio Forum (Local YouTube News Channel), said, quoting evidence regarding the biassed stand of the leading deputy commissioner, Dr. Yonas Adaye. According to Ethio Forum, Dr. Yonas was among the high level government officials who supported the battle fought two years back in Tigray. 

Therefore, how can  Dr. Yonas Adaye, who once tried to convince others about the significance of joining the government army to support and fight in the battle in Tigray, be trusted in the peace negotiation between warring militants and the government? How can people be expected to believe that the man is reliable while his “involve in the fight” kind of speech he made on public media is still fresh in their mind? Yes, the commissioner was heard one time supporting the war that consumed one million people in Tigray, according to Ethio Forum. During the war in Tigray, Yonas was heard saying on a local media that, “all should join the federal army” to fight against part of the nation. He was also heard saying that, “how can we discuss with those who are armed”, Ethio Forum said.

The other thing is that if the government is ready for peaceful dialogue, why has it kept on shelling the Amhara people using artillery, drones and fighter jets? Why does it not show interest officially to sit round the table with Fano under the mediation of an international independent body? What if it comes forward and calls publicly for truth and peaceful dialogue? All said… but, one more thing… is a force that is currently shelling its own people with drones, tanks and artillery ready for peace? 

Dr Yonas said in a recent interview he had with VoA Amharic service that if there are bodies who do not go along with different approaches of the regime, they should sit down for discussion. “We are making our biggest call to all to come together and build peace and a nation in such a way that it can include all Ethiopians, without excluding anyone,” he said. 

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