One of the key components of the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) is the establishment of an interim regional administration (IRA). TPLF and some military leaders created a committee that facilitated a conference which concluded with a proposal for the formation of the IRA. The process and the resulting proposal were criticized for their lack of transparency and inclusivity by almost all sections of the society. All the political parties other than TPLF have rejected the proposal and decided to boycott the IRA. This doesn’t take Tigray to the right direction.
After multiple negotiations with Abiy’s administration, the central committee of TPLF has elected Mr. Getachew Reda to lead the IRA. Considering that Mr Getachew is among the progressive individuals in the central committee, his election has ignited some hope in the society that some reforms may materialize under his leadership. Garnering support of all sections of the society is important for Mr. Getachew and the IRA to pull Tigray out of its predicament. One key measure Mr. Getachew can take to bring unity is to have consultation with political parties and build a unity IRA that includes all the relevant political parties. Nonpartisan organizations or individuals can play a key role in mediating between the political parties to break the stalemate.
In this article I present some recommendations for the political parties to discuss and come out with a compromised solution. Nonpartisan organizations/individuals should play a mediating role by discussing with each political party and preparing a memorandum of agreement (MoU). In doing so it is important that all parties commit to participating in the consultation process with open heart and positive spirit. Accordingly, I urge the parties to commit to the following recommendations and emerge united in leading Tigray to the right direction.
- Commit to the rule of law and recognize the IRA as the legal government during the IRA period. Commit to participation in the IRA with full intent of making the IRA successful and pulling Tigray out of the quagmire.
- Prepare for the upcoming election respecting the constitutional order. Focus on promoting Tigray interests and reduce hostile rhetoric’s against one another. Use media and other resources responsibly to promote Tigray interests rather than internal divisive messages.
- All political parties should be provided with positions in the IRA both at the regional and local administrations. Political parties other than TPLF need to hold more positions than provided today. This can be done by allotting some deputy bureau head positions.
- Commit to reforming the administration by separating state and party bureaucracy. The parties can agree to form a council that makes decisions on appointment of local administrations and other reforms.
- Commit to creating a level playing field for all political parties by providing state resources fairly to all political parties. Commit to reforming state media administration and providing equal access to state owned media to all political parties.
Nonpartisan organizations/individuals can mediate between the parties by having consultative meetings with each of the political parties to discuss the above listed recommendations. Mr. Getachew should invite all political parties to a consultative meeting/conference where all the parties sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under the auspicious of Mr. Getachew Reda as President elect of the IRA. This will help build a good image of Mr. Getachew Reda, the IRA and participating political parties both internally and internationally. Most importantly, such a united administration will start the healing of the deeply wounded spirit of the people of Tigray and chart a new path of mutual respect and unity to rebuild Tigray.
March 21, 2023
Mersea Kidan is a Tigrayan American who lives in Minnesota USA. He is a community leader, an author and a public speaker on subjects relating to Tigray, Ethiopia and change leadership. He can be reached at [email protected]