Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Ethiopia Announces National Dialogue, Referendum on Secession

Fri 24 Dec 2021 | 08:04 PM
Ahmed Moamar

The Ethiopian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Radwan Hussein, announced on Friday that his country is in the process of conducting a comprehensive national dialogue, adding that such dialogue leads to a permanent solution to the internal conflict, especially the holding of a referendum on secession.

In an interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency, the minister said Ethiopia is moving forward to give expanded political space through dialogue, including holding a referendum on secession backed by the controversial Article 39 of the constitution.

Article 39 states that “every nation, nationality, and people in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secede,” a controversial provision for decades.

He went on to say that the new comprehensive dialogue will resolve any dispute, because it will be resolved in a civil manner, and it is open to any reasonable discussion that may culminate in a referendum. Radwan Hussein affirmed it.

He stressed that the Ethiopians can amend their constitution to prove that they are interested in participating in this broader process, and there will be no moral reason left to raise arms.

On the possibility of including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the dialogue, Hussein said that it is "difficult to speculate," noting that the Front is not the "only component" that represents the Tigrayan people, and that it "made it difficult for itself to achieve a civil solution," as he put it.

He pointed out that if the TPLF should surrendered its weapons and some criminal entities within it, there were many possibilities.

It is worth noting that on Thursday evening, the Ethiopian government announced the end of its recent military operation against the Tigray Liberation Front, with the achievement of its main objectives.

On Monday, the Tigray Liberation Front announced that it had ordered its forces to withdraw from the neighboring regions and areas and return to the Tigray borders, calling for peace with the Ethiopian government.