Ten Amhara and Oromo political parties signed an interim agreement on joint political positions on 23 September 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia**. The interim agreement marks an historic milestone in the relations of the two largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia and issues a strong call for de-escalation of tensions and for reconciliation.
The Oromo Amhara Dialogue Process – supported by the Berghof Foundation and its partner organisation the Centre for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation (CDRC) – was initiated by the federal government in response to ethnic violence that erupted in November 2019 at universities in Amhara and Oromia regions. Facilitated by a quartet of Ethiopian insider mediators of Oromo and Amhara ethnic origins, the process includes broader stakeholder conferences with participants from both ethnic groups as well as consultations within and between the party leaderships of 12 participating Amhara and Oromo political parties.
The signing of the interim agreement by ten Amhara and Oromo political parties (both ruling and opposition parties*) is an important breakthrough. It comes at a crucial time in the Ethiopian transition process to improve and further strengthen the historical relationship between the two ethnic groups, which together comprise more than 62 percent of Ethiopia’s population.
Support for the Oromo Amhara Dialogue Process, which the parties have agreed to continue, is part of the broader Berghof Foundation multi-track engagement contributing to the strengthening of the Ethiopian transition process.
The Berghof Foundation would like to express its gratitude to the German Government for its support to our activities in Ethiopia.
For any further enquiries, please send an email to: press [at] berghof-foundation.org
* The political parties that signed the interim agreement are: All Amhara People’s Party; Amhara Democratic Force Movement; Amhara Survival for Ethiopia’s Unity Organization; National Movement of Amhara; Netsebirake Amhara Dirijit; Oromo Liberation Front; Oromo Liberation Front- United; Oromia National Party; Prosperity Party -Amhara Branch; Prosperity Party -Oromia Branch.
** Editor’s note: The story was amended on 24 September to note that representatives of 10, rather than 12, of the parties participating in this process signed the interim agreement.