As the country has been celebrating Ethiopian Christmas, the government released high-profile political leaders and other detainees including opposition figures Jawar Mohammed, Eskinder Nega and senior Tigray party officials from prison last Friday.
It has strongly been believed that the amnesty for prominent opposition figures plays commendable roles for the peace and stability in Ethiopia and the Horn. This amnesty included those detained for committing offenses earlier and the ones arrested in connection with the recent war. Elucidating the aim of amnesty, the Government Communication Service said that the move will have a significant contribution in advancing the intended national dialogue.
When announcing the amnesty, the communication service showed the Ethiopian government’s strong stance to ensure peace and stability by stating, “The key to lasting unity is dialogue. Ethiopia will make any sacrifice to this end. Its purpose [the amnesty’s] is to pave the way for a lasting solution to Ethiopia’s problems in a peaceful, non-violent way… especially with the aim of making the all-inclusive national dialogue a success.”
Indeed, the move is the clearest indication of the Ethiopian government’s inherent stance for peace and stability. It’s crystal clear that the current government led by the reformist Prime Minister Abiy was ing forgiveness and reconciliation to establish sustainable peace and stability across the nation and there were great achievements in improving the political landscape as a result. Indisputably, the reform program introduced by the Prime Minister has brought a number changes besides saving the country from disintegration. It must be remembered that the then terrorist TPLF leadership, for nearly three decades, had led the country to the verge of disintegration. The reformist leadership determined to introduce several reform activities to save the country engulfed in the evil schemes of the terrorist. Unquestionably, this was the wise decision of the reformist to save Ethiopia.
Still, the government strongly believes that Ethiopia’s problems need to be addressed in a comprehensive approach and that why it has recently initiated the national dialogue. To maximize the effectiveness of the national dialogue, it has decided to make it all-include. Hence, it has granted amnesty to the prisoners to make the national dialogue a success, hoping that they will make a better contribution to the country and to the people. Certainly, the opposition leaders are expected to use the pardon as an opportunity to contribute their share to peace and stability that would improve the political situation of the country.
It’s remarkable that the government is working to address the age-old political challenges and protect the national unity of the country through inclusive national dialogue by establishing an independent National Dialogue Commission. This move of the government is considered to be strong determination and it must be supported by all political party leaders.
Interestingly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the amnesty announcement. In a statement on Twitter, he said, “I welcome the release from prison in Ethiopia of numerous detainees including key opposition figures. I will remain actively engaged in assisting Ethiopia to bring an end to the fighting and to restore peace and stability.” Unlike that of the previous days, understanding the government’s relentless commitment would be encouraging for the Secretary-General.
Moreover, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice said the amnesty for Jawar Mehammed and Eskinder Nega was granted “to make the upcoming national dialogue successful and inclusive.” We surely believe this purpose ought to be capitalized on to ensure the intended peace of the country.
In short, the amnesty for the political leaders would undeniably produce significant contributions to make the intended national dialogue successful and all-inclusive; and the political leaders are expected to appreciate the government’s decision and contribute their shares to improve the peace and stability of the country.
THE ETHIOPIAN SUNDAY EDITION 9 JANUARY 2022