Radar | Jan 01,2023
Dec 31 , 2022
By Abraham Tekle
For much of the last two years, Ethiopia has suffered from a devastating civil conflict between the Federal Government and the Tigray People's Liberation Movement (TPLF). But, December 26, 2022, saw the nature of the peace agreement take a reasonable direction. A high-ranking delegation of the federal government led by House Speaker Tagese Chafo, visited Meqelle city in Tigray Regional State.
The first high-ranking delegation travelling to the regional state shows that the agreement is in good shape. The visit came at a crucial moment that needed to be seized to restore the long-lost peace.
"Today's visit is historic. We need to strengthen this relationship," said Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD) after welcoming the delegation team. This discussion is the first of its kind since it took place without the involvement of a third party. The step they took shows their determination for the peace accord to sustain.
Simultaneously, December 29, 2022, added a bright light to the peace process. Ambassadors and military leaders of 32 different countries, including the British ambassador, the African Union and the European Union, have entered Meqelle for a discussion regarding the peace agreement with the Joint Monitoring and Verification Group established under Article 11 of the Permanent Ceasefire Agreement signed in Pretoria. The visit dignifies the process as believable, roaring to bring peace to the region and the country.
The conflict has claimed thousands of lives in the last two years. In addition, the Provision of humanitarian aid and basic service facilities like telephone, banking and power supply were exempted from the region. However, in light of the peace agreement in Pretoria, South Africa, followed by the two consecutive agreements in Nairobi, Kenya, revealed fruitful steps that could benefit all.
As these opportunities existed to end the war and bring peace, many were emotional as the siege continued to cause colossal devastation. Preceding the recent positive developments, the residents in the regional state were exposed to great difficulties as humanitarian aid and basic service facilities such as telephone, banking and power supply were blocked.
Countries experiencing civil war will see their social fabric collapse. The war has broken the social fabric that needs to be mended. If handled properly, the shared customs and beliefs are worthy of contributing significantly to socio-economic and political affairs.
Putting aside the human element, the war had severe economic costs, such as damage to infrastructure and a decline in the working population. It has become the trigger force of inflation.
The implementation process has begun with the arrival of medical supplies that could be considered an icebreaker for opening bank and telecom services in the regional state. Above all, the resumed flights to Meqelle city enable families to reunite, facilitate the restoration of commercial activities and stimulate tourist flow. As the regional state was cut off from the rest of the world, restoring essential services is the place to start with the consecutive rigorous work required.
What does it take to seize the twinkling opportunity?
The peace process could bear fruit only if all parties engaged in the conflict judiciously approach it in a manner that brings justice to the table. Peace and justice are inextricably linked, where one cannot exist without the other.
According to the UN Human Rights Council, there has been evidence of widespread violations by all sides since the war started. The commission stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that violations committed amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Council listed a long line of horrific violations in its report, from extrajudicial killings to intentional starvation and sexual assault perpetrated on a "staggering scale". Investigating and bringing all perpetrators to justice is a significant step; there cannot be lasting peace without proper justice.
The forgotten justice cannot bring national unity but destroys the legitimacy and credibility of the process leading to instability. Failure to demand accountability bears the recurrence of a vicious cycle of violence. The African Union peace initiative unlocks a golden opportunity for peace to prevail.
PUBLISHED ON Dec 31,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1183]
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