Addis Abeba – State run EPA announced names of seven member “peace negotiation team” appointed by the federal government “to resolve the crisis in the northern part of the country.”
The team is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen, and is composed of members: Gedion Timothewos (PhD), Minister of Justice, Temesgen Tiruneh, Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Ambassador Redwan Hussine, Security Advisor of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Lt. Gen. Berhanu Bekele, Chielf of Military Intelligence office (former head of the Republican Guard), Ambassador Hassan Abdulkadir, Coordinator, Prosperity Party’s Democratic System Office, and Dr. Getachew Jember, Deputy President of Amhara regional state.
The names are announced following earlier presser where Gedion Timothewos, said that the recently held meetings by the Central Committee and the Executive Committee members of the ruling Prosperity Party party have “put a direction” outlining the “peace alternatives” to solve “the problem in the northern part of our country.”
Dr. Gedion said the direction the party will pursue will be “in a manner that respects the constitution and national interest” of the country and “facilitated by the African Union.”
On June 14 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told lawmakers that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Demeke Mekonnen.
Although the statement from the federal government said peace talks to be held under the “facilitation of the African Union,” in a letter addressed to President Macky Sall, Chairperson of the African Union and President of Senegal on 14 June, Debretsion Gebrechichael (PhD), President of Tigray state, expressed reservations in the AU led process. “The silence of the African Union over the war and the atrocities perpetrated by the forces ranged against us was a betrayal of the Foundational Principles of the Union. We have consistently condemned the failure of the African Union Chairperson and his High Representative to take a position consistent with their solemn obligations under the Constitutive Act of the Union, the Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council, and a host of other commitments entered into. In the considered view of the People and Government of Tigray the leadership of the African Union Commission has yet to redeem its failures and restore our trust, the letter said.
Debretsion also said Tigray’s position “remains that the peace process requires the engagement of a range of international partners, under the leadership of the Government of Kenya. Among those partners are the United States, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations, and the African Union.”
So far there is no comment from regional authorities in Mekelle over today’s announcement by the federal government. AS