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Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission fails to proceed with its work in Amara, Tigray

Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Work on identifying participants and agenda providers of the consultation is being carried out in all regions and city administrations except Amhara and Tigray, the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission said in a statement it made last Friday, Voice of America, the Amharic service reported.

The spokesperson of the commission, Tibebu Tadesse, pointed out that the commission is consulting with various parties to find means that enable it to continue its work in Tigray and Amhara Regions.

However, the spokesperson said that the preliminary conditions for identifying the dialogue participants in Amara and Tigray regions have been finalized, and efforts are being made to proceed with the work that needs to be done by taking into consideration the current situation, according to VoA.

In Tigray, although the Region is in the process of getting out of war, there are other complex problems that need time to create a stable environment in which the society can participate in large numbers and actively. The spokesman, who realized that the consultation should be participatory and inclusive, said, “it is not as simple as it is thought to be for the fact that drought and famine are creating a mess. It requires consultation, respect, listening, tolerance and patience.” Therefore, following these procedures, it is necessary to work in a way that is close to reality, he urged.

The spokesman of the commission, Tibebu, said that in the areas outside the two regions, the work of identifying Woreda participants and agenda-setters, are being done. Tibebu said that 327 Weredas have identified their agenda-presenting representatives.

According to Tibebu, there are regions and city administrations that have completed the arrangements. So far, the preparations have been finalised in 45 Woreda of Sidama Region, 57 Woredas in Southwest Ethiopia Region, 24 Woredas in Benishangul-Gumuz, 9 in Harari, 12 in Dire Dawa City Administration, 14 in Gambella, and 119 Woredas of Addis Ababa City Administration.

He further said that 327 Woredas have already elected their representatives. There are 700 Woredas that are being worked on across the country, the spokesman said. Tibebu pointed out that in the Oromia Region, where armed conflict is taking place, activities are being carried out to 45 percent of the 379 Woredas (171 in number) to identify the participants.

Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Commission, which was established with the mission of enabling people to consult and reach consensus on national issues that are fundamental to disagreements and causes of differences and conflicts, is to celebrate its two-year anniversary in three months time, according to the spokesperson. Although the commission was established for a three-year term, conflicts have prevented it from proceeding as per the plan, Tibebu said.

The chief commissioner of the commission, Mesfin Araya (professor), said a month ago, when he presented his office’s four-month performance report to the House of Peoples Representatives, that due to conflicts and other current problems, the commission could not carry out its duties according to the plan. He called on the parliament to put pressure on the executive body of the government so that armed conflicts in the country would be resolved peacefully.

However, following the Pretoria Peace Agreement, the two rounds of negotiations conducted between the Ethiopian Government and the Oromo Liberation Army  ended without agreement. Although pressures continue to resolve the ongoing conflict in the Amhara Region through dialogues, no official negotiations has so far been implemented yet, VoA reported. 

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