Ethiopian National Dialogue: At Cross-Roads

Dereje Melese Melese


National consultations are increasingly becoming appropriate ways to resolve disputes over past abuses, power-sharing, and territorial claims and are crucial tools for addressing the challenges of managing the political transition. Ethiopia, now a day has embarked on preparations for the second national dialogue in the face of political tensions. Accordingly, this study examines the political and process factor contexts that mainly determine the success or failure of the upcoming national dialogue. To address the issue under investigation, the researcher consults experts, scholars, and civil society organizations involved in participating in and supporting these processes. Besides, scholarly articles, different workshops, seminars, conferences, and media outlets on the preparation of the dialogue and the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission Establishment Proclamation (ENDCEP: 1265/2022) document were also deeply considered. The study finds that although the national dialogue is an appropriate mechanism to deal with a deep political crisis in post-war situations or during far-reaching political transitions, the political context and process factors in current Ethiopia are not conducive to holding the dialogue, The prevalence of polarized political camps, poor dialogue experience, presence of external power manipulation, and the convener selection process makes the dialogue a tough national project from the outset. Thus, garnering trust among key actors, linking with other political processes, the inclusion of economic issues, and waiting until the right time is pertinent ahead of the national consultation.

Keywords: national dialogue; political context; process factor; political transition; Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/96-01

Publication date:August 31st 2022

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ISSN (Paper)2224-574X ISSN (Online)2224-8951

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