By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) Chief commissioner of the National Rehabilitation Commission, Teshome Toga, said yesterday that 200,000 ex-combatants are planned to join the community this year, sources said.
In recent months, the commission has been holding discussions with the leaders of the regions where ex-combatants are located and with partners who financially support the reform program, according to the commissioner. Teshome Toga who was appointed as Chief Commissioner of the National Reform Commission said in an interview he held with Ethiopian News Agency that since January 2023, the commission has carried out activities to help ex-combatants join the society by disarming them.
He also recalled referring to the commission’s activities that in the disarmament of ex-combatants carried out in eight regions of the country 371, 971 of them had been identified. Teshome said that this year, 150,000 to 200,000 people will receive the necessary rehabilitation training and join the society.
Teshome also said that arrangements are being made for psychological preparation, political understanding and social reform of the combatants who had long been engaged in the battle and thereby make them ready for peace and productivity. He also said that the commission has discussed with international and local development partners to get the necessary funds by formulating the two-year program and projects that will help accomplish the work.
Stating the delay of the construction of the rehabilitation centers for the ex-combatants and the preparation of training documents, Teshome said that the commission is working hard to realize this in the future. Accordingly, he mentioned the activities of his commission in facilitating ways to work with the Ministry of Defense and the Interim Administration of Tigray Region to rebuild five large centers at a cost of 500 million birr. Each center entertains five thousand ex-combatants, according to Teshome. He further said that the centers consist of training rooms, sleeping quarters including medical, water, electricity, dining and other facilities.
Teshome said that there is a plan to reintegrate the fighters into the community in different phases of the rehabilitation program. He said that 50,000 ex-combatants laid off by the Interim Administration of Tigray Region will also be included in the program. The Commissioner also stated that the government is working with determination for the success of the reform program. Development partners are also promising to provide the necessary financial support, according to Teshome.
The commissioner expressed hope that the pledged funds will be made available to the commission from January. He called on local civil society organizations, investors and others to work together to achieve the commission’s mission in various ways.
The National Reform Commission was established on November 12, 2023 by the Council of Ministers with the aim of disarming the armed forces that were active under organized forces and allowing them to join the society in a sustainable way and lead peaceful life. The main mission of the commission is to enable ex-combatants to participate in the development, peace and democracy building process of the country.
The National Reform Commission was established 10 months back following the peace agreement signed by the federal government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
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