ADDIS ABABA – Rumors that the government has begun negotiations with the TPLF in various countries are “fictitious”, Prime Minister Abiy told members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
Asked about the rumors about negotiations between the government and the terrorist TPLF, the premier responded that there has not yet been any negotiation.
“We didn’t hide about the war when it broke out and went to the forefront to defend our country,” he said. “We do not need to hide if a discussion about peace started.”
The Prime Minister pledged that such development in the peace process will be disclosed to the public as negotiations are not made without public knowledge. “When we say we want peace, we are not saying that we will negotiate in secret; because any secret negotiation will not bear fruit.”
However, the government is working to address the issue in a sustainable manner and maintain peace in the interest of the Ethiopian people, the prime minister said.
The government has set already up a committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen to determine preconditions by which peace talks can be held in a manner that safeguards the national interest.
Attributing the war in Ethiopia was inflicted by the TPLF due to its regret and inability to accept its political defeat, he underlined that the “TPLF had been preparing for war while we were engaged in development endeavors and that the government had been forced to intervene.”
He said the people of Tigray have been suffering a lot since the formation of the terrorist TPLF.
However, he reaffirmed that his government will reinforce its endeavor to build lasting peace in Ethiopia by pursuing peace.
- ‘Ongoing Law enforcment Operations’ –
Responding to questions raised by MPs regarding the ongoing law enforcement operations in other parts of the country, the PM said the government launched the operations after hearing the public’s growing security problem concerns during discussions held months ago.
The regional administrations are in charge of these operations against illegal elements threatening the livelihoods of citizens with the federal government providing only technical support, he said, adding that the operations are bringing relative peace in most areas, particularly in Oromia and Amhara regions.
“We have also seized narcotics; illegally acquired foreign currency, fake currency, bombs, and other illegal weaponry,” the PM said.
In Oromia, over 1000 members of Shene have been rooted out while many more surrendered, according to the Prime minister. Security officials have also apprehended groups that were “threatening the livelihoods of well-meaning citizens” in the Amhara regions.
“The security operation undertaken in the Amhara Region needs to be viewed in light of the successes,” he said. “It has brought under control around 3500 suspects most of them were members of the region’s special force “who were working to wreak havoc.”
Abiy also downplayed allegations that the government has arbitrarily arrested journalists and activists without proper court warrants, adding meticulous preparations were made before launching the security operations.
The PM said the type of media landscape Ethiopia has currently is contrary to how it was before, adding journalism “in its true nature needs to be protected and nurtured.” However, “let’s not designate individuals engaged in destroying national institutions as ‘activists’ and ‘journalists,” he added.