Five Ethiopian opposition parties released a joint statement on Monday, expressing their opposition to the Ethiopian government’s handling of political negotiations. They emphasized the importance of inclusive, transparent, and well-managed negotiations for effective solutions. The Enat Party, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP), Amhara Ghion Movement, One Ethiopia Democratic Movement, and All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) collaborated on this joint statement.
They criticized the Ethiopian Defense Force’s involvement in what appears to be clandestine negotiations with the OLF-Shane group in Tanzania, which the government has not publicly disclosed. The opposition parties deemed this involvement inappropriate.
The parties stressed that any political negotiations concerning the Ethiopian people should be public knowledge. They cited past instances of secret negotiations between Oromo armed groups and the Ethiopian government in Asmara and the Pretoria agreement as examples of ineffective secretive negotiations.
Highlighting their consistent call for an inclusive national negotiation, the parties criticized the government’s use of forceful measures to address the country’s worsening problems.
The joint statement demanded three key issues:
They demanded full disclosure of negotiation points and the negotiation process to the public to prevent taxpayers, most affected by the problems, from being sidelined.
They expressed concern that resolving issues through isolated negotiations would not bring lasting peace given the multifaceted and complicated problems the country is facing . They called for urgent, unconditional, all-inclusive political negotiations involving the Fano popular force in the Amhara region and similar forces, mediated by impartial entities.
Emphasizing that political solutions require political decisions, they opposed the Defense Force’s involvement in negotiations. They urged the government to appoint a suitable negotiator and withdraw the Defense Force from the negotiation process.
The parties concluded by asserting that a transparent, inclusive, and well-managed political negotiation is the only reliable path to solving the complex political issues in Ethiopia.
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