Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Ethiopia, a nation renowned for its rich history and diverse cultural heritage, has been grappling with internal conflicts for decades. Internal conflict still persists in the country.
However, a glimmer of hope is emerging with the signing of the Pretoria Agreement in November 2022, marking a crucial step towards lasting peace in the northern part of Ethiopia.

Now, Ethiopia steps onto the path of reconciliation, radiating from renewed aspirations for peace and stability.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian government has adopted a comprehensive approach to address the root causes of internal conflicts, paving the way for a more equitable and harmonious future. At the heart of these endeavors lie two pivotal initiatives: transitional justice and national dialogue. The initiatives aim to redress historical grievances, promote human rights as well as facilitate constructive engagement among political elites to reach consensus on major national issues and forge national unity.

Transitional justice stands as a beacon of hope aims to address past injustices and human rights violations through mechanisms of accountability, reparations, and reconciliation.

Simultaneously, the national consultation seeks to cultivate inclusive discussions and consensus-building, fostering national unity by addressing longstanding grievances.

In his recent address to foreign diplomats, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen spoke with unwavering conviction about the nation’s peace efforts, emphasizing the significance of transitional justice and the national dialogue in steering Ethiopia towards enduring stability. These initiatives, he explained, reflect the government’s unwavering commitment to healing historical wounds, nurturing unity, and fostering a shared vision for Ethiopia’s future.

Demeke acknowledged the challenges ahead, emphasizing the need for “genuine commitment and unwavering determination” from all stakeholders. He called for constructive engagement in the national dialogue process, stressing that “truth-telling, forgiveness, and reconciliation are fundamental to building a lasting peace.”

The success of these initiatives will hinge on several critical factors, including inclusivity, ensuring all voices are heard and represented in the national dialogue and transitional justice processes.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his explanation he gave to members of parliament (MPs) in mid-November, 2023 said that all should support the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission for the benefits of citizens and the country. Abiy stressed that “we have to help the commission in every way we can. Everyone should help them for their benefits,” he noted and emphasized a missed opportunity is regrettable.

And in conducting transitional justice and inclusive national dialogue, transparency, open communication, delivering accountability for past human rights violations and ensuring fair and equal access to justice for all; and political will as well as sustained commitment from all political actors to prioritize peace and dialogue over division and conflict are imperative.

Transitional justice refers to measures implemented by countries emerging from periods of conflict. It may involve judicial processes like trials, truth commissions, reparations programs, security sector reform.

In Ethiopia’s case, experts say transitional justice is essential to come to terms with a history of violence among political elites that has perpetuated cycles of political turmoil and harmed civilians. “Ethiopia really needs a comprehensive transitional justice policy that has to be implemented in a very genuine, independent and impartial process,” according to Mareshet Tadesse, a member of transitional justice working group at the Ministry of Justice.

As Ethiopia continues its journey towards peace, the resilience of its people and the unwavering determination of its leaders serve as a beacon of hope for a brighter future. Through transitional justice and national dialogue, Ethiopia is charting a new course, embracing the values of accountability, reconciliation, and unity. This journey represents a testament to the nation’s enduring spirit and a renewed commitment to peace, setting the stage for a future defined by harmony, equality, and shared prosperity.

By Joy

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