THE MOOD The international airport in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, is surprisingly bright. Over the last few weeks, arriving passengers have met smiling dancers and patriotic music. Wreaths and bright yellow carpets decorate the arrival hall. Banner declares “Great Ethiopian Homecoming”, a state-sponsored effort to convince Ethiopians living abroad to return home for vacation (Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7th). I did). The state’s Christmas greetings echoing to John Lennon are accompanied by an implicit message that the war is over.
The civil war in Ethiopia is certainly chilling. In late 2021, rebels in the northern region of Tigray were on the verge of attacking the capital and overthrowing the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Abby declared a state of emergency and called on the inhabitants to fight. The embassy evacuated staff and urged the citizens to leave. But within a few weeks, Ethiopian troops withdrew rebels. Tigray’s ruling party, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Asked for a ceasefire. The battle continues on several fronts, but Abby has declared victory.
Before the war, Abby was known as a peacemaker. He won the Nobel Prize in 2019 for ending hostilities with neighboring Eritrea and was praised for helping mediate a power-sharing contract in Sudan. Ethiopia’s year-long civil war, in which the military and its allies committed war crimes, damaged its reputation. Now Abby wants to fix it. First, his government announced that the military would not try to occupy Tigray again.Instead he urged the Tigrinyas to fight TPLF.. Later, on Christmas in Ethiopia, several opposition leaders were released from prison, including Jawar Mohammed, a major rival of the Oromo ethnic group. TPLF Official.
The prime minister described the move as an act of mercy for the victors and said Ethiopia needed to break the cycle of war. The government wants liberated opposition leaders to participate in so-called “national dialogue.” This is to weigh issues such as the controversial system of national ethnic-based federalism.
But they are still unlikely to do so. “At present, the intended domestic dialogue cannot be inclusive or impartial,” says Javanese ally Merella Gudina. Daud Ipsa, leader of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Stay in custody. The OLFArmed groups are also excluded from the negotiations because they are considered by the government to be terrorist organizations.
The bigger challenge is TPLF, The government also calls it a terrorist group. Officially, you will not be invited to the dialogue. However, the government may want to initiate individual peace talks with the government. Created by the ruling party economist I didn’t exclude this. “There was a clear suggestion that we should talk to them,” said a ruling party executive who attended the meeting where the paper was discussed.
It will be a controversial move.Release of TPLF Prison officials have caused turmoil, especially among Amharic’s Abbey allies, the second most populous area in recent months and the focus of combat. The opposition Amharic National Movement called this release a “historical mistake.”Negotiations with TPLF Probably more angry. “How can I talk to people who are still at war?” Ask Amharic ruling party lawmakers. Many want the government to siege Tigray until its leader surrenders.
It still looks like a plan. Since mid-December, no aid of any kind has flowed into Tigray, and few drugs have been licensed since June. “Our hospital is short of supplies,” says a doctor at Tigray’s largest hospital. After more than a year of war, about 400,000 people have starved and millions have run out of food. Meanwhile, drones and fighters attack the Tigrinyas from the air. At least 56 people were reportedly killed in airstrikes at camps for internally displaced persons on January 8, causing aid agencies to suspend their work. If Abby is serious about giving him a chance for peace, he should stop fighting first. ■■
This article was published in the printed version of the Middle East and Africa section under the heading “Happy Christmas, the war is over?”
Ethiopia promises peace, but continues to bomb rebels and civilians
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