የኢትዮጵያ ምሁራንና ባለሙያዎች መድረክ ፲፪ኛ ጉባኤ
Forum for Ethiopian Scholars & Professionals (FESP) 12th Conference, in partnership with
The Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University
Colloquium on the prospects for peace-making and peace-building in Ethiopia
Call for papers
August 26, 2022
The Board of the Forum for Ethiopian Scholars and Professionals (FESP) is pleased to announce that its 12th conference will be held virtually on two successive Saturdays of November 26 and December 3, 2022. The theme of the colloquium will be examining the prospects for peacemaking and peacebuilding in Ethiopia. It is being organized in partnership with the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) of Addis Ababa University. It supplements the work and policy briefs prepared by specialized local and international institutions and think tanks. The purpose of this colloquium is to provide yet another independent forum for scholars and practitioners in the fields to provide a coherent work that can guide action aimed at resolving the protracted conflicts.
At the time of preparing this call there is much talk about national dialogue and a growing demand for a negotiated settlement of the conflict in northern Ethiopia. Unfortunately, there is little progress on the ground, especially for those Ethiopians who are trapped in the conflicts. Reports indicate that another round of armed conflict has resumed as of August 24, 2022. No doubt this resumption of warfare would add to the tens of thousands that have already perished. It worsens the size and shape of the atrocity crimes and increases the vulnerability of millions to the ravages of the war. The open warfare exacerbates the languishing economy that has been afflicted by multiple shocks (Covid-19, invasion of desert locusts of biblical proportions, droughts, and torrential rains due to global warming and interethnic conflicts resulting in over five million citizens being internally displaced), all these adding to the degree of fragility of the country. Resolving the conflicts is paramount to minimize the direct and indirect effects of the war. How the conflict in the north gets settled can attenuate/accentuate the other conflicts and tensions. Hence, scholars and practitioners in the fields of peace and security, international relations, military sciences, and transdisciplinary researchers ought to continue their engagements in the search for a better understanding of the underlying causes of the armed conflicts and identify tried and tested methods of resolving them.
Several basic and contextual questions require answers. In this upcoming conference, the FESP and IES call upon scholars and practitioners to reimagine the complex problems of peacemaking and peacebuilding and identify workable policy options which would both entice and oblige conflict parties to come to the negotiating table in good faith. FESP and IES are looking, therefore, for scholars and practitioners who would adequately address the following and related matters:
- Limited research indicates that about 70% of cease-fires have failed and the parties have returned to armed conflicts. Furthermore, another strand of research shows that less than 10% of ethnoreligious wars ended in outright military victory. Given the evidence, what effective mechanism should Ethiopia establish to put pressure on armed groups, to reach and enforce agreements, and for dispensing justice and accountability for the wars and the gruesome atrocity crimes?
- Facing various conflicts and civil wars, many countries, including Ethiopia, have attempted to resolve their conflicts via negotiations and implementing peace agreements – some succeeding and others failing. What can Ethiopia learn from those successes/failures and its own experience?
- Identifying the purposes and scope of the facilitation/mediation efforts is important. Is the mediation aimed at re-establishing the pre-existing status quo or is it to bring about a sustainable human security, political, economic, and social order? What are the underlying causes of the wars and the tensions?
- To realize peace, it is important to identify the actors in the conflicts. Who are the protagonists? What is their respective support base? What is the type of “political game” being played by the parties to the conflict? What are the emerging alliances/counter alliances? Are there actors who do not appear in the facilitators’/mediators’ “conflict maps” but who are supposed to be in it in order to assure an all-inclusive dialogue?
- Envoys have been in and out of Addis Ababa and Mekelle. Governments and heads of multilateral institutions have been issuing statements talking about the necessity of resolving the conflicts. What are the sticky points in the facilitation/mediation/negotiation?
- Is it wise to leave some of the sticky issues to theEthiopian National Dialogue Commission? Does the mediation supersede or complement the work of the Commission?
- Is the Constitution of 1995 the appropriate framework for resolving sticky points (e.g., territorial claims/ counterclaims)? If not, what should be the preferred framework?
- What is the impact of the emerging multipolar power structure/rivalry on the peace and security of the Greater Horn of Africa region?What is/are its effect(s) on large scale arms trade/delivery and illegal weapon trafficking in the region?
- What are the practical strategies for mobilizing resources for the restoration of normality in the conflict zones?
Authors should assume and recognize that their papers are for public consumption presented at a scholars and professionals forum. The selection of a paper depends on its depth, relevance, dispassionate analysis of the problem, clarity of thought, and ease of being understandable to policymakers, political and social actors, and the public. The presentations will be transmitted live and as much as possible, and speakers are requested to use a language that is understood by most Ethiopians. Papers and panel proposals will go through a review process. Authors and potential speakers must avoid use of anecdotal evidence, bigotry, inflammatory and/or offensive language, and parochialism. Final acceptance of a paper or panel proposal is at the discretion of the conference committee. Completed papers or an extended abstract not exceeding 3000 words in length should reach [email protected] on or before October 31, 2022.
© Forum for Ethiopian Scholars and Professionals (FESP) , August 2022