11-member commission to lead process within coming 3 years
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Fractured by ethnic and political polarization, Ethiopia on Wednesday stepped into a long process of building national consensus, sustainable peace, and reconciliation by establishing its first-ever national dialogue commission.
This comes after Ethiopia’s federal parliament ratified a bill in a majority vote, the state-affiliated broadcaster Fana reported.
The bill was presented to the parliament by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who promised to commence a credible inclusive national dialogue after his Prosperity Party won a landslide election victory in June.
The multi-cultural Horn of the African nation, with an estimated 119 million population, has been plagued by simmering ethnic, political, and religious polarization as well as armed conflicts that have threatened the stability of the country.
The war between the Ethiopian federal army and the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for more than a year has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the displacement of millions.
The 11-member Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission is tasked with facilitating “an inclusive dialogue and reconciliation process that would heal wounds, build a consensus on key issues and help the country to solve its complex problems,” the bill said.
It is not immediately clear if TPLF and its partner in war Oromo Liberation Army, which had been designated as a terror group by the federal parliament, would be part of the dialogue.
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