Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (hbs)Nairobi Office, in collaboration with the Rift Valley Institute, cordially invites you to the 4th Election series on; The Role of Civil Society in Managing and Mitigating Conflict in Ethiopia.
Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government announced the postponement of all parliamentary and regional elections—originally planned for August 2020—as a way to control the spread of covid-19 virus. However, opponents of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, particularly the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), whose leaders have felt marginalized under Abiy’s administration, saw this as a strategy for the prime minister to extend his term beyond its original mandate. As a result, the Tigray region held its own parliamentary elections in August 2020—a move that exacerbated an already tense political atmosphere in the country.
In early November, political tensions escalated into a military conflict in Tigray when the TPLF preemptively attacked an Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) camp in western Tigray, which resulted in a massive mobilization of ENDF and heavy fighting across the region. Tens of thousands of Tigrayans have been displaced, including over thirty thousand across the border into neighbouring Sudan. With telecommunication lines cut and Internet switched off there is very limited space for civil society and humanitarian actors to operate in this region and coverage of the conflict by media is patchy.
On 1 December, the Rift Valley Institute, in partnership with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, will host a panel discussion on Zoom to examine the the Role of Civil Society in Managing and Mitigating Conflict in Ethiopia.The panel will focus on the role that regional bodies and civil society can play in managing and mitigating the conflict, which threatens the lives of thousands of people in the Tigray region, plus the stability of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa more broadly.
The virtual forum will start with a panel conversation followed by a questions and answer session from the virtual audience, streamed live on the Rift Valley Institute Facebook page. We look forward to engaging with you online and to an interactive forum.
- Rashid Abdi - Sahan Research (Panelist)
- Peter Kamalingin - Pan Africa Director for Oxfam (Panelist)
- Kibreab Abera Lomencho - Lawyer and anti-corruption activist (Panelist)
- Rita Mazzocchi - Horn of Africa Civil Society Forum Secretary (Panelist)
- Mosaab Baba (Moderator)