Ethiopia’s Ministry of Peace recently addressed the Parliament to deliver a three-month performance report. According to a report from DW Amharic, journalists faced restrictions during the session, being asked to leave after members of parliament inquired, alongside the Foreign Affairs and Peace Standing Committee.
During the session, State Minister Taye Dendea represented the Ministry of Peace but journalists were not permitted to hear the Minister’s responses to questions. Despite this, Taye briefly answered a few queries in the journalists’ presence.
The State Minister was asked questions on security concerns, including civilian killings, ransom kidnappings (predominantly in the Oromia region), and limitations on citizens’ movement rights within the country.
Following the questions, the parliamentary session became closed, and journalists were required to exit before the Ministry could address the inquiries. According to DW Amharic reports , Taye Dendea informed parliamentarians, “Conflicts in some parts [of the country] have become obstacles for peace building.”
Taye highlighted security issues in the Amhara region saying that there were early signs of problems. But ther was coordination issues within relevant government bodies to address them. He noted, “Because there were problems of coordination and quickness from relevant bodies [government], the problem has reached to the level it is now.”
Additionally, the Minister discussed a situation in the South Omo zone, where groups from Kenya have been , reportedly,launching organized attacks in the Dasenech District, particularly targeting young individuals engaged in fishing on Lake Turkana.
However, despite claims from the Ministry asserting a decline in ethnic-based violence and inter-regional conflicts mainly contained within regions, recent reports confirmed the massacre of 36 Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church followers, primarily ethnic Amhara, in Arsi.
Regarding issues of ransom kidnappings and mobility challenges in the Oromia region, details from the Ministry’s perspective remain unknown due to journalists being excluded from the session.
Ethiopia’s government has been conducting military operations in the Amhara region for over six months under the guise of “disarming Fano.” However, civilian casualties, including extrajudicial assassinations, have escalated. Human Rights Organizations, including those affiliated with the United Nations, have reported hundreds of civilian deaths. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s forces have increasingly utilized drone attacks and artillery shelling in the conflicts within the Amhara region.
The conflict in the Oromia region persists, with a militant ethnic Oromo nationalist group, reportedly connected to government officials, engaging in insurgency activities primarily in Wollega. The group has also been implicated in numerous ransom kidnappings in the region.
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