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Analyzing The Joint Statement From The Government Of Ethiopia & The TPLF

Andrew Korybko

The document represents a well-intended effort by both parties to reach mutually acceptable compromises with one another, especially on sensitive issues involving administrative, informational, judicial, political, and security affairs. It’ll of course remain to be seen how everything is implemented, but there’s no doubt that both parties are serious about what they just agreed to as evidenced by them calling on their supporters at home and abroad to play responsible roles to this end.

The Government of Ethiopia (GOE) and the TPLF surprised the world on Wednesday by agreeing to 12-point joint statement for ending the two-year-long conflict in the northern part of the country. The influence that some foreign forces have hitherto exerted over the TPLF seems to have finally been broken, ergo the breakthrough that took all observers off guard. Each paragraph of that statement as reported by Ethiopia’s Fana Broadcasting Corporate will now be shared and briefly analyzed below:

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1. As per Article 3 of the Agreement for Lasting Peace and Permanent Cessation of Hostilities, the Representatives of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the TPLF have agreed to announce to the people of Ethiopia and the rest of the world that after 10 days of intensive negotiations have concluded a peace agreement.

– This paragraph is self-explanatory and simply serves to introduce the joint statement. It describes the document’s official name, which refers to the intent of both parties to achieve lasting peace and permanent cessation of hostilities. Another important aspect is that it draws attention to the length and intensity of the negotiations that resulted in this outcome, which proves both sides’ sincere intentions.

2. We have agreed to permanently silence the guns and end the two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia.

– The permanent part of this agreement is once again emphasized, specifically with respect to ending the conflict. This can be interpreted as reaffirmation of both parties’ sincere intentions.

3. The conflict has brought a tragic degree of loss of lives and livelihoods and it is in the interest of the entire people of Ethiopia to leave this chapter of conflict behind and live in peace and harmony.

– Building upon the above, the GOE and the TPLF acknowledge that this political solution was driven by their shared interest in stopping the bloodshed and improving their compatriots’ lives via compromises.

4. It is fundamental that we reaffirmed our commitment to safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and to upholding the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, Ethiopia has only one national defense force. We have also agreed on a detailed program of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration for the TPLF combatants, taking into account the security situation on the ground.

– The first sentence’s three references to sovereignty, territorial integrity, and upholding the Constitution can be seen as significant concessions from the TPLF, as can the reaffirmation that there’s only one national defense force (ENDF). In exchange, the GOE agreed to reintegrate TPLF combatants following the group’s disarmament and demobilization that Addis requested this entire time. This is a serious quid pro quo concerning a sensitive sequence of events, which requires mutual trust to succeed.

5. We have agreed that the Government of Ethiopia will further enhance its collaboration with humanitarian agencies to continue expediting aid to all those in need of assistance.

– The conflict in northern Ethiopia has indeed devastated that part of this multimillennial nation, ergo the need to collaborate with humanitarian agencies in order to most effectively help everyone in need.

6. We have agreed to implement transitional measures that include the restoration of Constitutional order in the Tigray region, a framework for the settlement of political differences, and a Transitional Justice Policy framework to ensure accountability, truth, reconciliation, and healing.

– This paragraph complements the fourth in that the present one refers to political quid pro quos while the prior refers to security-related ones. It thus also concerns a sensitive sequence of events that’ll require mutual trust to succeed. Both parties appear to have once again compromised on these issues.

7. To start implementing these undertakings without delay, we have agreed to stop all forms of conflicts, and hostile propaganda. We will only make statements that support the expeditious implementation of the Agreement. We urge Ethiopians in the country and abroad, to support this Agreement, stop voices of division and hate, and mobilize their resources for economic recovery and rehabilitation of social bonds.

– The past two years of conflict created a lot of animosity that threatened to tear apart this multimillennial nation’s historical unity, hence the urgent need for each party and their supporters in civil society at home and abroad to prioritize the rehabilitation of social bonds. To that end, they’re requested to cease hostile statements against one another no matter how hard it may be after all that’s happened and instead focus on economic recovery for the good of all Ethiopians and future generations.

8. The Government of Ethiopia will continue the efforts to restore public services and rebuild the infrastructures of all communities affected by the conflict. Students must go to school, farmers, and pastoralists to their fields, and public servants to their offices. The Agreement requires the support of the public for its smooth implementation. This is a new and hopeful chapter in the history of the country.

– On the topic of the greater good for the present generation and all subsequent ones, it was agreed that the GOE will do its utmost to help the devastated regions of Ethiopia sustainably recover from the conflict in order to resume normalcy as soon as possible. Once again, an appeal is being made by both parties to the public for their help in smoothly implementing this sensitive sequence of events, without which everything that was just achieved in their name and for their benefit would be in vain.

9. We express our gratitude to all actors contributing to the success of this endeavor. In particular, the African Union Commission Chairperson, the African High-Level Panel led by His Excellency former President Olusegun Obasanjo, supported by His Excellency former President Uhuru Kenyatta, and Her Excellency Dr. Phumuzile Mlalmbo, former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa. We thank the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, His Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Commissioner Bankole Adeoye and his colleagues for their tireless work during these talks. We rely on their continued support as we implement the Agreement.

– Observers might regard this paragraph as perfunctory since it seems like it’s only about paying thanks to all those who helped make this agreement possible, but it’s actually pretty important. That’s because it emphasizes the fact that this outcome represents the epitome of the “African Solutions for African Problems” mantra that had hitherto remained a hopeful but nevertheless unfulfilled concept. Now, however, there’s a tangible success story to emerge from that policy even though plenty still remains to be done in order to successfully implement the agreement. Those same figures who helped make it possible will therefore be partly responsible for helping everything unfold every step of the way.

10. We thank His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Republic of South Africa, and Her Excellency Dr. Naledi Pandor, the Minister for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa for the excellent facilities they put at the disposal of these talks and their words of encouragement to the parties towards these successful results. We are indebted for the hospitality accorded to us by the People and Government of the Republic of South Africa.

– Just like the preceding paragraph, this seemingly perfunctory one is also pretty important too. In this case, it acknowledges South Africa’s indispensable role in facilitating the agreement that was ultimately reached between the GOE and the TPLF. That in turn raises wider awareness of this BRICS country’s rising influence across Africa and within the emerging Multipolar World Order more broadly. Quite clearly, South Africa has proven itself to be a responsible leader and an example for other countries.

11. We are grateful to the people of Ethiopia for encouraging these talks and patiently waiting for the outcome. We are confident that they will embrace the results of these talks and ensure their timely implementation.

– The penultimate paragraph thanks the Ethiopian people for their support of the peace process and expresses sincere hope from both parties that they’ll play responsible roles in helping to implement those points that are of direct relevance to them.

12. Finally, we are confident that friends of Ethiopia and members of the diplomatic community will lend their support in rebuilding infrastructures in affected communities and the economic recovery of the country. We call on all types of media outlets to support peace, reconciliation, unity, and prosperity in Ethiopia.

– Lastly, the GOE and the TPLF call on the entire global community – which includes civil society, media outlets, and states – to play similarly responsible roles as the Ethiopian people in helping to implement the agreements that they just reached. This can be interpreted as an indirect request for them to refrain from doing or saying anything that could risk reversing everything that was just agreed to.

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As can be seen, the joint statement represents a well-intended effort by both parties to reach mutually acceptable compromises with one another, especially on sensitive issues involving administrative, informational, judicial, political, and security affairs. It’ll of course remain to be seen how everything is implemented, but there’s no doubt that both parties are serious about what they just agreed to as evidenced by them calling on their supporters at home and abroad to play responsible roles to this end.

1 thought on “Analyzing The Joint Statement From The Government Of Ethiopia & The TPLF”

  1. Public opinion in Ethiopia is for peace but Ethiopians aspire for durable peace which is to be achieved after the demise of the TPLF. Despite this public aspiration the interference of the US and pressure from its allies has influenced the peace talks and its outcomes saving the TPLF as they desired. This has hindered the path to lasting peace in Ethiopia and the region. The TPLF can not be trusted. Because the survival of the TPLF is postponement of the conflict and it is a matter of time before another devastating war breaks out. The TPLF will likely use the agreement to recruit, regroup and rebuild its forces for another round of war. The next war will be openly become a proxy one and the TPLF will likely get military assistance from its foreign supporters. Thus, it is of vital importance for the Afar, Amhara and Eritrea to remain watchful and alert.
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