Political decisions, dialogue stemming from Ethiopia’s lasting gains

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) appeared before lawmakers yesterday to respond to questions raised by the MPs. The questions ranged from economy to politics with various MPs raising current and serious issues. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave answers to the MPs’ questions.

The following is the extract of the Premier’s responses in relation with political and diplomatic and other current affairs. Some of the statements are attributable to the Office of the Prime Minister’s social media page. With regard to the issue of negotiating with terrorist TPLF, Prime Minister said that there has been no negotiation so yet.

This does not rule out the possibility of discussions. Negotiation is a method of identifying problem-solving options. We have been betrayed in the process of winning the war and making efforts to rebuild acknowledging that the region is also part of our country.

We did everything we could to make peace a possibility. We entered a war with TPLF after the clique put the national security of the country in danger. We do not rush to take up arms since we are very much aware of the repercussions of conflicts and wars from past experiences.

But we will never flinch on the national sovereignty of the country. With regard to the national dialogue, Prime Minister Abiy said that the elected commissioners of the National Dialogue Commission have no other roles other than facilitating a stage for all. We should not doubt the integrity and independence of individuals. For us, negotiation is the proposed national dialogue.

The people will have the ultimate and the final say on the major issues of the national dialogue through referendums. We need to make sure that all voices are heard and represented in the dialogue.

The controversial issues that claim the lives of many people should be settled through discussion. For us, negotiation is the upcoming all-inclusive national consultation.

The Commissioners of the newly constituted National Dialogue Commission have simply been given the task of coming up with proposals; the Ethiopian people will make the final decisions. However, we should not be a country that remains in odds with the concept of consultation and dialogue.

Concerning the release of politicians, Abiy stated that we must be cautious not to fall prey to the enemy’s scheme. Forgiveness should be practiced at a national level. All we have to do now is look beyond the past. Our decision to free prisoners has three rationales.

The primary one is to ensure lasting peace and stability. The second one is the health and physical records of the released individuals. And, the last one is to double down on our battlefield triumphs.

There is no grave legal loophole in releasing the politicians. We took the measure in accordance with the national interests. We have already reaped the fruits of our decision in many ways over the last month. In a civil war, there is no such thing as a total triumph.

When one party wins a combat while the other party is momentarily defeated, this is known as temporary victory. In turn, the defeated party would resurrect and assault. As a result, true triumph necessitates victory in the realm of peace. This decision has greatly helped Ethiopia.

We must not compromise on decisions for the lasting good of the country. Concerning terrorist TPLF’s offensive against Afar State, Abiy responded that TPLF’s fresh attack against the border areas with Afar has another proposal.

The international community has run out of any excuse to point a finger at the Ethiopian government. TPLF wants the accusation against the Ethiopian government to continue. It tries to obstruct the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray so that the international community puts the blame on us. We would like to tell the TPLF not to commit the same mistake.

We will fight all forces if they pose a threat to the country’s existence. With regard to terrorist Shene’s attack against civilians in Oromia State, the Premier stated that Shene is distracting the civilian infrastructure while waxing lyrical that it is struggling for Oromo people’s cause.

Our fight against the group has been tough since the latter uses the attack and run tactic. We need to work with communities in which the group hides in to neutralize the threats and also give answers to communities’ demands if there are valid ones. Highlighting on the issues diplomatic relation with Eritrea, America, GERD, and ambassadors’ appointment, Premier Abiy underlined that Eritreans are brotherly

people. We share the same values and living styles. We will work to strengthen our ties as we will do with other neighboring countries. Speaking of GERD and downstream countries, Abiy said that Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt have the right to utilize the Nile River without causing harm to one another.

The dam has begun generating power without obstructing the flow of the river to the downstream countries. Ethiopia is committed to a win-win approach in harnessing the shared resource. We want to collaborate with Egypt and Sudan. We don’t want any other option. As promised, we are generating energy and releasing pure water.

The water from Abbay is available to all three countries. We are ready as long as there is a solution that benefits all of us. Ethiopia should not be the sole country to encourage the signing and implementation of the CFA with the lower riparian countries.

For their own benefit, all countries are compelled to join. In the next 10-15 years, Ethiopia will request to benefit not just from the Red Sea, but also from other remote countries. We are rich with people, history, and faith, and as we heal our political and economic brokenness, our full potential will emerge.

Asked about the latest appointments of military personnel for ambassadorships, Abiy also noted that the appointments of ambassadors are carried out based on merits.

Unlike the last three decades, most of the appointed ambassadors have a background in diplomacy and are drawn from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The latest appointment is also the continuation of this.

The appointment of generals as ambassadors is not an issue of worry since they have good knowledge in diplomacy. Diplomats are appointed and not employed. As promised, we are implementing new trainings and practices.

Many of our military diplomats will be supporting the defense forces from wherever they are stationed. It’s good to look at it in light of the reform and similar experiences of other countries.

Regarding our citizens in Saudi Arabia, Abiy noted that we have repatriated many citizens, even in times of crisis. The Saudi government is reforming the country’s workforce. The challenge for the Ethiopian government is the large number of illegal immigrants. There are also reports of mercenaries.

Therefore, the necessary research will be done to separate our citizens from the culprits and bring them back to our country. Speaking of Ethiopia-America relations, the Prime Minister noted that America is a friendly nation.

They have interest and we have to. So, we will talk, discuss and work together for mutual benefit. That is the solution. We will work together. This is the solution and should be noted this way. Concerning the threat of corruption to the socioeconomic development of the country, Abiy stated that as far as we’ve come in terms of enhancing environmental ergonomics and ICT in government agencies, we still have a long way to go in terms of preventing corruption.

Investigative journalism is encouraged, and those who steal should be held accountable. We are also performing evaluations that will continue strengthened. Corruption poses the greatest threat to prosperity unless all agreed on fighting the organized thefts.

We the leadership should play an exemplary role in curbing the existential danger. The media will embark on conducting investigation journalism to expose corrupt officials. We need to bring changes in attitude besides taking legal actions against corrupt individuals.

All doors will remain open for the media to conduct investigations in all government organizations. We could not label everyone corrupt; we should separate the good from the bad ones.


The Ethiopian   23  February  2022

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