Int’l Diplomatic Community Based in Addis Ababa Briefed About Ethiopia’s Democratic Transition

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Addis Ababa, May 19 /2021 (ENA)  Members of the international diplomatic community based in Addis Ababa briefed today about the democratic transition process being undertaken in Ethiopia since the last three years.

The briefing was held at a half day high level dialogue organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with Peace Ministry.

The event taking part under the title “Ethiopia in Transition – an open dialogue with the International Community” has brought together participants from the diplomatic community, development partners, experts, and other international bodies.

During the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mokonen briefed the participating members of the international diplomatic community about the major political, economic and social reform activities undertaken over the past three years in a bid to address the overall challenges of the country and people of Ethiopia.

 “Over these years, the people of Ethiopia have witnessed and been participating in a remarkable effort in transforming the country to build a true democratic system. The demand for change was anchored with measures taken by the government in widening the political and democratic space and amending stifling laws through various reform measures,” Demeke said.

He noted that the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia that has been reestablished as an independent institution to conduct free and democratic election in the country is one of the key yardsticks of the reform agenda successes.

A series of policy measures on economic front have been taken creating a conducive environment for the private sector to play its pivotal role in building a competitive and strong economy, he added.

However, Demeke stated that the profound changes and reform process that have begun to bear fruit has not been without serious challenges mainly emanating from political forces which decided not to play by the rules of the game.

 “The challenges were mainly emanating from political forces that decided not to play by rules of the game, opting to put the country’s stability and security at risk through their action. Swift measures, therefore, had to be taken to ensure peace and stability in the country and continue with the democratic nation building process.”

The reform agenda equally recognizes the importance of sustaining strong partnership with neighboring countries and other nations of the world, he indicated.

He further stated that as a founding member of the League of Nations and later, the United Nations, Ethiopia has been at forefront of multilateralism, fulfilling its obligations to the maintenance of world peace through the deployment of its peacekeeping forces under United Nations Blue Halmets.

Government of Ethiopia is well aware that it is still a lot to do, Demeke said, adding that the government is committed to continue work with all partners to ensure the national reform agenda of achieving the critical objectives of overcoming development challenges and creating a prosperous nation at peace with itself and its neighbors.

Requesting partners’ continued support to achieve the reform agenda in all areas of nation building,  the Deputy Minister said that “we perfectly understand that our commitment to build a democratic system of governance, anchored on freedom and justice, is indeed, a challenging undertaking with great historical reponsibilities”

Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil on her part said the journey of democratic transition in Ethiopia over the last three years is a significant leap in terms of transforming the political land scape and discourse of the country.

“The road we have traveled on so far has been on the one hand encouraging. We have addressed many of the outstanding political deficits that lingered for far long. Opening political space, releasing political prisoners, and lifting the ban on those political parties denied the right to enter the country were key bench marks of our blood agenda of transformation,” Muferihat elaborated.

She also reiterated the transition is not immune from challenges and hurdles, which motivates them to draw their energy, imagination and vision as a nation.

According to her, over the last three years, Ministry of Peace has engaged various sectors of the public in a wide ranging dialogue to build bottom-up structures of peace in which issues of building sustainable peace, reconciliation and national cohesion are taken seriously.

Noting that the reform journey is in at its early stage, and the country has a long way to go, she appreciated the international partners who continued support and stood with Ethiopia in good and hard days.

She also commended the international community’s on ongoing support for the emergency aid in Tigray region.

She pointed out that since the completion of the law enforcement operation in Tigray, their focus shifted to rebuilding the political, economic and social structures in the region.

Participants of the dialogue expressed readiness to provide the necessary support for the realization of the ongoing reform in Ethiopia.