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The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commissioners Call on Media to Play Constructive Role

ENA/April 22, 2022

The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commissioners tasked with facilitating an inclusive dialogue and reconciliation have urged media organizations to play a constructive role in making the national dialogue a success.

In a meeting they held with media organization heads and journalists today on the role and responsibility of the media for the success of national dialogue, all the 11 commissioners emphasized the role of the media for cohesiveness.

Speaking on the occasion, National Dialogue Commission Chairperson, Professor Mesfin Araya said national dialogue is a vital step to address differences of opinions and disagreements among various political and opinion leaders.

Though the commission is tasked to resolve differences and disagreements through broad-based inclusive public dialogue that engenders national consensus, the role of the media and communication in this regard is vital as media organizations have the capacity to reach grass-roots level, he noted.

‘‘The accountability bestowed on the commission is very unique, new, and exemplary. Hence, in a bid to successfully accomplish the mission, the role of media is vital’’

Since the role of the media is to disseminate truth, knowledge, brotherhood, cooperation, and peace in various native languages and mother tongues, its role is crucial in making the endeavor of the commission a success, according to the chairperson.

Professor Mesfin subsequently called on media organizations to get ready beat reporters who will be offered training regarding issues of national dialogue to help journalists better understand how best to cover the issues of national dialogue.

Since the establishment of the commission, discussions have been held with religious leaders and popular elders, it was learned.

One of the commissioners, former ambassador Mohamud Dirir said on his part the concept of national dialogue itself is relatively a new phenomenon to the world and some 34 countries have held various types of national dialogue up until now.

The commission will learn a great deal from all the national dialogues held before, including from Mali and Tunisia that are deemed to be successful in that regard, he stated.

However, main experiences will be drawn from generations of indigenous knowledge in dialogue and reconciliation, Mohamud added.


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