The peace agreement struck between Ethiopia’s government and rebels from the northern Tigray region has been hailed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as “a positive step,” and he has promised that his country will also meet with other armed groups.
Mr Abiy was addressing members of parliament on Tuesday in Addis Ababa. Several legislators expressed concern during the session about the cost-of-living crisis, widespread corruption, and the escalating insecurity in other parts of the nation.
He claimed that numerous attempts to make peace with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an insurgent organisation active in the nation’s Oromia area, have been made in recent months.
More than 500,000 people are thought to have perished in the two-year civil conflict in Tigray and surrounding areas. There have been numerous reports of human rights abuses, some of which, according to the UN, may constitute war crimes. To attain complete peace in the nation’s north, according to Mr. Abiy, a lot more needed to be done. Post-conflict scars “take time to heal,” he noted.
A member of the opposition party questioned whether Mr. Abiy would be prepared to answer for serious crimes done during conflicts, such as ethnic cleansing, and whether he would follow the example of his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn and resign in the face of mounting public discontent. The prime minister dismissed the suggestion.
In the wake of brutal conflicts, he continued, his government was trying to ensure transitional justice and peace. The prime minister called some media sources “forces of destruction” in his lengthy speech, but he avoided naming them.
Press freedom in Ethiopia has reportedly declined in recent years, according to human rights organisations.
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