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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ethiopian militia leader advocates for beheading

Zemene Kassie, the leader of 'Gojjam Fano',...

US commends the OLA for ‘genuine effort’ to reach deal at Dar es-Salaam. ‘Don’t give up.’

In a major policy address, the US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ervin J. Massinga, called on armed groups and the government to pursue peace in Ethiopia.

Speaking directly to various armed groups involved in the country’s ongoing conflict, Ambassador Massinga urged for a concerted effort towards peace and reconciliation.

“Let me be direct,” he began, addressing members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in Oromia. “You made a genuine effort to reach a deal at the negotiating table in Dar es-Salaam. Don’t give up. Make the effort to rebuild trust and seek the peace for which there is overwhelming public support. Too many people are suffering as the fighting continues.”

Turning his attention to the conflict in Amhara, Ambassador Massinga stressed the importance of dialogue over violence.

“To those that call themselves the Fano, please know that your rejection of dialogue does not serve you well,” he stated. “It is innocent civilians who are suffering as a result of the continued fighting. If your cause is just, make those arguments through dialogue and not violence.”

Directing a message to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Tigray, Ambassador Massinga urged for an inclusive and orderly process to address outstanding issues. “Your full participation in national dialogue and transitional justice processes will be crucial to peace and stability, not just in your region, but throughout Ethiopia,” he emphasized.

Ambassador Massinga also questioned the role of the Ethiopian government in fostering peace. “A security-focused approach will not resolve complex political issues,” he noted. “Detaining and harassing government critics will not address the underlying issues that must be faced.”

Furthermore, he called for an end to targeting essential infrastructure and emphasized the need for full humanitarian access across the country, and called for temporary nationwide ceasefire as a starting point.