Commission identifying nat’l dialogue participants

The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission has commenced the first-round selection of individuals from various states that will take part in the national dialogue.

Speaking to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), member of the commission Ambassador Mohammed Dirir stated that the first round of participants’ selection has begun after extensive preparation.

Accordingly, community leaders, Aba Gedas, elders, representatives of various sections of the society including women, youth and among others have been picked to take part in the dialogue. “Involving the entire population in the dialogue is an impossible task, thus, those that are believed to contribute to the process by the society and organizations will take part in the deliberation.”

He added: “Some 50 people from each district will be represented and those representatives are gathered and after the selection of participants in the zone level, those who will represent each state and take part in the consultation forum and agenda setting, will be selected.” Ambassador Mohammed pointed out that the commission mainly directs the selection of the participants. Collaborators who will assist in the mission have been identified.

In view of that, Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations Council, Ethiopian Political Parties Joint Council, Ethiopian Teachers’ Association, Ethiopian Nation-wide Elder Joint association, Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia, district court Judges, district administrative representatives, and local community leaders will be involved in the process.

Noting the age-old militaristic approach to resolve differences, Ambassador Mohammad highlighted that nothing has been achieved from bloodshed and the people have had enough. “Thus, the society is keen to take part in the dialogue.”

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He further highlighted that the commission has drawn the experiences of various countries including Tunisia, Mali, and Senegal. Consolidated efforts have also been exerting to make the dialogue all inclusive. In doing so, marginalized segments of the society, internally displaced people, armed forces and other sections of the society will take part in the deliberation.

Countries like Colombia, South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda have resolved their challenges related to peace, apartheid, civil war and post-election turmoil through national dialogue. By drawing a lesson from such countries, Ethiopia could resolve differences through its longstanding reconciliation values, he expressed optimism.

“The fact that the government establishes a diverse and inclusive National Dialogue Commission showcases its commitment. Nonetheless, its dedication along with the public need to continue.” Prior to this stage, the Commission organized introduction sessions in Dire Dawa, Harari, Sidama and South West states excluding Tigray due to the conflict. Currently, it is identifying the participants of the dialogue.

The Ethiopian Herald June 4/2023

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