Ethiopian News: There was disagreement to the Prime Minister’s alternate proposal

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Dr.) Thursday, June 29, 2023, When they explained to the parliament, they presented an alternative proposal to solve the problems of the disputed areas in the Amhara and Tigray regions by the decision of the people. The experts who gave their opinion to the reporter said that the solution proposed by the Prime Minister is not suitable for building a lasting peace between the two regions.

Prime Minister Abiy (Dr.) quoted a national saying, “If you invite a stranger, he will stay or he will leave.” In his advice to the leaders of the two regions, he asked them to solve their problems peacefully and carefully. “I advise the great people of Amhara and Tigray to look carefully at the issue of borderlands, which have been argued between the two regions for 30 years,” said Abiy (Dr.), stressing that Ethiopians should not be killed because of land.

The Prime Minister explained that the two peoples and the administrations of the two regions can discuss and consult and solve the problem in a win-win way. “Ziad Bare went all the way to Awash, but he didn’t. If we can repair the damaged, return the displaced, reconcile the abandoned, and resolve things legally by the decision of the people, it will be a disaster,” said the Prime Minister. Political elites of Tigray and Amhara, who were asked for their opinion on this matter, said that it is not conducive to lasting peace and that the problem will be solved by the decision of the people.

Muluwork Kidanemariam, the head of the Tigray region’s former election board, said that the problem should be solved by implementing the Pretoria agreement without compromising it. For his part, the former top leadership of ADN, Dr. Chuchu, said that it is very dangerous to decide to be resolved by the people.

Historian Tesfakiros Arefaine said that such a solution is inappropriate when the land of Tigray is occupied by force. On his part, the political analyst Ato Mululem Gebre Medhen said that the people will not give up the freedom they have enjoyed in the past years and will not return to the old oppression.

It should not be forgotten that there have been bloody conflicts over the areas of Wolkait and Raya, which are claimed by the Amhara and Tigray regions. In the Pretoria Peace Agreement document, it is recalled that the disputed border issues of the two regions will be settled constitutionally. Although the settlement issues have been implemented in the past eight months, the disputed boundary issues have not yet been resolved. Recently, the Prime Minister, who was asked this question, said that the regions should be “talked about and solved” and “it should be decided by the people”.

Ato Muluwork, the head of the Tigray region’s former election board, said, “Why is a recommendation presented at the beginning? Fully implement the Pretoria Agreement. The Tigray region should be restored. “Status should be maintained,” he said. “One problem cannot be solved without solving another problem. Creating another chaos will not be good for the country’s stability,” he added.

Ato Muluwork, who reminded us that the Pretoria agreement was not broken, pointed out that it is pointless to arrange another solution without many people being displaced and the areas coming under the Tigray region. “The Tigray region is not yet represented in the federal councils. The state must return to its constitutional framework. Saying that we have decided this for you in the absence of Tigray is not a solution,” Muluwork explained.

Muluwork added, “There is no problem with the Amara region. It is the federal government that invaded the land of Tigray and armed Fanon. Why does he bring back the problems he created to the regions?” he asked. Another commenter, Chuchu (Dr.), said that the suggestions to solve problems through peaceful talks or to give a mark through the decision of the people are not hateful ideas, but they do not allow to create lasting peace between the two regions.

He pointed out that both the leadership and the people of the two regions have turned the controversial boundary issues into death row issues, and explained that it is difficult to resolve them through dialogue or to arbitrate through the decision of the people. “If both are not available, the only possible solution is to solve it by law. The Federation Council has the authority to make decisions on such controversial issues by taking into account the actual situation, history, culture, and lifestyle of the area,” said Chuchu (Dr.) and offered an alternative solution.

He explained that the solution proposed by the people’s decision is dangerous and has many problems, and it is only a suggestion. On the other hand, he added that neither the people of Wolkait nor Raya will cast their lot against themselves. “Unless the federal government wants to stand on the sidelines and swallow you, let it resolve the matter by law,” he said.

Historian Tesfakiros, on his part, said that although the Prime Minister reflected a better position than before, he did not present a clear solution to the problem. “The Prime Minister must first clearly say that the border areas should be returned to Tigray. First, the unconstitutionally occupied land must be released. After he returns to Tigray, the constitutional solution can be seen,” Tesfakiros said.

The political analyst Ato Mululem said, “The people of Wolkait did not want to be Amhara, but Amhara. In June 2013, the Prime Minister felt that he was under pressure from the TPLF. As they did, the people of Wolkait say that they are Ethiopian when they are younger and Gemdir when they are older. When you think that TPLF is not a threat to power, June 2015. They say that solve your problems with the decision of the people as they did. This is a position of one head, two tongues,” he said.

Mr. Mulaleem, who mentioned that the people in the areas that have been under the LTTE for 30 years have enjoyed relative freedom and peace in the last two years, said that the people do not want anything to bring them back to the misery they went through. “Especially, the issue of Wolkait can be linked to religious extremism, dangerous smuggling, and weak governance in the countries of the region. As the area borders neighboring countries, care should be taken to prevent it from turning into a regional crisis,” he advised.

 

The fact that the Amhara and Tigray regions have started to come closer at the leadership level in recent times has given rise to great hope that the disputed border issues will be resolved. While the rapprochement is a good start to building political trust, many believe there is still a long way to go to resolve the Wolverine and Raya issue.

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