On 14 June, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced he had set up a committee to spearhead negotiations with the northern Tigray rebels, giving hope that direct talks between the two warring parties would begin by the end of this month. This follows smaller, unilateral steps by both sides over the last few months to de-escalate tensions, including the federal government’s declaration of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, the release of prominent opposition leaders, and the withdrawal of Tigray forces from neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions. Despite these encouraging signs of a path to peace, the chances of a successful peaceful political settlement and dealing with the grave humanitarian and human rights impact of the 18 months of conflict are far from guaranteed. Ethiopia is also dealing with other conflicts and crises, including the insurgency in Oromia, inter-ethnic conflicts within and between several regional states, and a severe drought in the Eastern regions. The EU has expressed support for a national dialogue and readiness to support the National Dialogue Commission to conduct a successful deliberation.
Conciliation Resources has supported dialogue processes at the national and subnational levels. It played a key part in the negotiations and the peace deal signed by the government of Ethiopia and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in 2018, which brought to an end the armed insurgency conflict in Somali Regional State (Ogaden) of Ethiopia. Aden Abdi is the Africa Department Director of Conciliation Resources based in Addis. He will share analysis on the current situation in Ethiopia and dialogue efforts led by Conciliation Resources and others at the national and subnational levels.
Please note that this will be an in-person meeting. Seats are limited and registration is mandatory. Please contact Lorenzo Conti if you would like to participate. Please feel free to bring your lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided at the venue.