The way Ethiopia ended the war in the northern part of the country with a peace agreement is a model for other countries, US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mike Hammer said.
Following the Pretoria Peace Agreement, a program of recognition and honor for actors who have played crucial role in peace process was held in Addis Ababa yesterday under the theme: “Enough with War, Let us Sustain Peace!”
US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mike Hammer who attended the program told ENA commended Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the leadership in Tigray for a peaceful resolution of a very challenging conflict through the African Union led process.
The United States was very proud to be an observer of and to contribute for the peace process, he stated.
The Special Envoy added: “It is a lesson that negotiations can produce outcomes that are good for the people of Ethiopia, and of course for the African people, and that there are ways to find African solutions to African problems and the United States is always ready to be a partner in these efforts. So let’s hope this is a lasting peace.”
He applauded that the way Ethiopia ended the two-year war with a peace agreement is an exemplary action for other countries.
“We are seeing right now a tremendous crisis in your neighbor in Sudan. I would hope that two leaders in Sudan, the generals, [Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo] would see that war has no true purpose other than to destroy the lives of innocent people,” Hammer stated.
If Ethiopians can come together after two year conflict, then others should be able to do the same, he urged.
Special Envoy also said: “the solution is not fighting. It is to silence the guns. It is to engage in negotiations, the international community, the United States, is involved and prepared to support these efforts to work with the African Union to work with other African institutions like IGAD to promote peace.”
There is no sense in killing innocent people. You must protect civilians, you must respect international humanitarian law, you must make sure that there’s accountability for those who violate human rights, abuse women and kill children.
“I am hopeful that the lesson that we can take away from the experience in Ethiopia is that dialogue can bring peace. Together, United States is working with partners after this effort, we have shown what is possible, and it’s not done yet. A lot of work remains but we can count on the efforts that we can make together to deliver peace,” he noted
We can show that peace is possible and give people hope, but it takes courage to make those decisions that bring peace, Ambassador Hammer pointed out.
The Special Envoy also noted that there’s still considerable work that needs to be done regarding the full implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in Pretoria.
The United States has pledged again and again, to be supportive of this process and to be a good partner to Ethiopia as it pursues peace for the entire country and its looks to provide a better future for Ethiopian people, he pointed out.
We are very much engaged in the discussions with the Ethiopian government and Tigrayian authorities about next steps, Ambassador Hammer said, adding the efforts of reconstruction, demobilization, disarmament and reintegration are important steps that must proceed.
He also mentioned that he met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Makonnen and they talked about some of these issues, the importance of going forward with accountability and transitional justice.
There’s a lot of work to be done he said, adding but you can count on the United States as a partner that’s going to support Ethiopians efforts to make sure that this is a lasting peace.
“And that again, you can have a situation in which Ethiopians can look forward to a future that is bright and hopefully peaceful and we also are prepared to support any other mediation processes that involve other regions. So that there is again, a good sense of stability that allows the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia to prosper,” he added.
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