Ethiopia to create commission for national dialogue to resolve crisis
Ethiopian lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of establishing a commission for national dialogue in the East African nation.
The commission, whose creation was promised by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government, is meant to establish common ground on contentious issues.
But the commission excludes the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Omoro Liberation Army, both of which have been fighting the Ethiopian national army.
Commission aims for 'national consensus'
The bill for the creation of the commission states that it will "pave the way for national consensus and keep the integrity of the country."
Ethiopia's federal parliamentary assembly saw 287 lawmakers approve the bill, 13 votes against the bill and one abstention.
But the exclusion of the factions that have been fighting the federal army has been criticized by experts.
Ethiopia’s civil conflict erupted in November 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray to topple the TPLF -- a move he said came in response to rebel attacks on army camps.
The conflict between Ethiopian's federal government and the leadership of Tigray has killed thousands of civilians and forced millions to flee their homes.
The African Union has been spearheading international efforts to try to broker a ceasefire but so far little concrete progress has been reported.
Earlier in December, Ethiopia accused the United States and other Western nations of "perpetuating a destructive narrative" after Washington and its allies sounded the alarm over reports that the authorities were unlawfully detaining citizens on ethnic grounds.
Thousands of Ethiopians rallied in the capital in November to denounce the US for alleged interference in their country’s domestic affairs.