The executive secretary of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, revealed in an official statement the participation of the entity in the ongoing negotiations between the government of Ethiopia and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).
Gebeyehu, who has experience mediating similar situations, understands that in any negotiation process there are inevitable periods of challenges and complexity, and praised the teams from both sides for engaging in peaceful dialogue to solve their differences. He also thanked the IGAD technical team and the observers (United States and Norway) for their support in the talks, and the Government of Tanzania for hosting it.
The executive Secretary called on all parties involved to maintain their commitment to the peace process for the benefit of the people of Ethiopia, and, without abandoning optimism, he hopes that the parties involved will resume talks to address and solve the remaining issues. “IGAD will continue to monitor the situation and stands ready to provide unwavering support to both parties in their search for a peaceful solution to the situation,” the official statement concluded.
Redwan Hussein, National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, confirmed on Tuesday that the two rounds of talks in Dar es Salaam between the national government and OLA ended up without an agreement.
The talks were aimed at achieving a ceasefire and ending the damage and destruction, seeking peace within the framework of principles that previously guided similar efforts, including respect for sovereignty and constitutional norms, territorial integrity and unity of the country.
“Within the context of these principles, the Government has tried to be as flexible and accommodating as possible. On both substantive and procedural issues, the Government has tried to find mutually acceptable solutions and make concessions in the interest of peace,” Hussein stressed, adding that the talks ended without reaching an agreement due to the intransigence of the other party. The other side’s obstructive approach and unrealistic demands are the main reasons why the dialogues were not successful, he concluded.