Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Commission Seeks Inclusive Engagement Amidst Challenges

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Deputy Commissioner of Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Commission, Hirut Gebreslase reinforced commitment to providing a secure environment for all participants, including those from armed factions. This assurance of security is crucial to encourage the involvement of diverse stakeholders in the dialogue process, particularly in regions where security concerns are prevalent.

While the dialogue commission is actively seeking inclusive participation, it acknowledges the complexities inherent in engaging stakeholders from conflict-affected areas. Identifying and enabling the involvement of these groups poses challenges but is essential for a comprehensive and effective dialogue process that addresses the root causes of conflicts.

National Dialogue leadership for its part stated the platform is equally open to all and that participants should welcome the opportunity to envision an inclusive path forward. In addition, the commissioner reiterated pledged to remaining independent of interference by government or other entities.

However, several opposition political groups have voiced concerns, questioning the effectiveness of a national dialogue that does not adequately address fundamental political issues. This skepticism underscores the importance of ensuring that the dialogue process is inclusive, transparent, and addresses the legitimate grievances of all stakeholders for lasting peace and stability in Ethiopia.

Despite the commission’s outreach efforts, militant groups have yet to confirm their participation in the consultation process. Additionally, opposition parties such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) have opted out, expressing reservations about the approach of the national dialogue.

The National Dialogue Commission of Ethiopia has made a significant overture by inviting armed groups to participate in the country’s dialogue process, aiming at fostering peace and reconciliation. Commissioner Professor Mesfin Araya emphasized the importance of this opportunity during a gathering of community representatives from the Oromia region in Shashemene city, urging armed entities to engage in constructive dialogue.

The National Dialogue Commission is expected to continue its nationwide engagement wherever conditions allow. There are currently plans to meet communities in Amhara and Tigray, regions that have been impacted by recent conflict. 

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