Scholars say gov’t may discuss with TPLF, but not negotiate


ADDIS ABABA-The federal government needs to end the ongoing war with TPLF through dialogue, social science experts urged, emphasizing that there could be no negotiation between the two sides as they are not equivalent in their status of power.

Talking to local media, the scholars noted that intruding further into Tigray to launch military offensive against TPLF would only cause the latter to perpetuate the war through guerilla tactic. Hence, ending the war through dialogue is the most preferable solution along with halting the faction’s invasion of other states.

A senior economist, Yonas Biru (PhD) stated that the government has to have sufficient time and resources to reconstruct the war-damaged economy once again and waging

 war in Tigray State would have resulted in the same thing as the previous campaign. The government should make public any progress in this regard.

Talking about the need for discussion, he recommended the government to end the conflict through discussion while promoting its sovereign military power in the country. A senior lawyer, Frehiwot Samuel for his part said that waging war needs its own time.

“Sometimes war can be more important than negotiations. Meanwhile, the main concern for the current issue should be how to resolve the difference [with TPLF].”

Adding, if needed for national interest, discussion has to come to table. But, negotiation cannot be taken as a solution since the federal government and TPLF have unbalanced political status in the country. “Certainly, discussion cannot be held in parallel with war. But, there would be no better time to hold discussion, but it is now.”

Frehiwot; however, said that the concept of negotiation does not make sense as both conflicting parties are not structurally  equivalent. The war has been waged since the last years, so discussion to end the war should be timely and the government needs to avoid all anti-peace causes even by war. “Then, lasting peace would come after discussion.” A sociologist, Derese Getachew (PhD) has also a similar view with Yonas (PhD) in relation to military engagement.

The academician claimed that the first phase of the war should be taken as a lesson. During that time, large numbers of TPLF fighters were at the bush to carry out guerilla war which was coordinated with the help of the interim administration of Tigray. “So, if the government decides to reenter Tigray, it would lend an opportunity to the TPLF to prolong the war.”

“I don’t think that TPLF will have a peaceful discussion with the government of Ethiopia. It has attacked civilians in Amhara and Afar. Therefore, they have shown their clear intention to conduct an offensive against the public; which is beyond political agendas.”

However, Derese asserted that the war should not be continued. “I personally believe that political settlements should be taken as a solution.”

The February 8/2022

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