Ethiopia’s National Dialogue, Key to ensure National Consensus
Over the century, Ethiopia has endured acute political polarisation and divisions mainly due to the tendency of elites to resolve political disagreements through coercion rather than compromise. As such, the country’s elites have exhibited no semblance of a democratic political culture all throughout. They often resort to confrontational approaches to ensure their interests.
Ethiopia has now embarked on an inclusive nationwide political dialogue with a view to resolving political differences through civil deliberations. It is hoped that the process will enable actors to discuss fundamental national issues openly and ensure national consensus in the nation.
It is within such policy, that the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HOPR) approved a proclamation to establish a National Dialogue Commission, whose roles constitute initiating dialogue among all political stakeholders, civil society associations, religious communities, and a vast section of the public on contentious national issues, including the national flag, the constitution, and the right to self-determination. This initiative responds to the calls of the international community to find a peaceful resolution to conflicts active in different parts of the country including in Tigray.
Unfortunately, the TPLF and a few other callous political parties are seen as undermining the object and significance of the national dialogue. These are parties that presume to benefit from the foundational policy issues that are central to the current crisis. However, over the week, the Ethiopian Political Parties Joint Council (EPPJC), a coalition of more than 53 registered political parties expressed support for the ongoing national dialogue by a majority vote, which is considered a huge buy-in for the commission.
With such a score, it is befitting to say that the ongoing national dialogue is getting the necessary acceptance which is fundamental to its mission of resolving the nation’s age-old grievances and charting a new future for a prosperous and democratic Ethiopia.
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