Thu, 16 Dec|
The Conflict in Ethiopia: Diplomacy, Misinformation and Reconstruction
Time & Location
16 Dec 2021, 16:00 – 18:00 SAST
About the event
Since the conflict in Ethiopia started on the 3rd of Nov 2020, Ethiopia has become a target of a highly orchestrated attack by Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF),Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) terrorists at home, and their agents elsewhere. The misinformation and disinformation campaigns against Ethiopia have been multifaceted. Western think tank groups steer this effort in collaboration with lobby firms and academic institutions largely infiltrated and financed by TPLF and its sympathizers. Their groundless allegations include but not limited to use of food aid as a weapon of war which was unequivocally debunked as per the joint investigation report (28 October 2021) by United Nations Higher Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The joint investigation also found that ethnic profiling and ethnic based killings took place in Maikhadra by TPLF forces. Another independent investigation by Amnesty International, reported on the 9th of Nov 2021, showed gender-based violence is used as a weapon of war in the Amhara region.Other similar investigations have also shown that gross human rights violations including rape and civilian mass killings have been used consistently by the TPLF forces in Amhara and Afar regions. Despite all this evidence against the TPLF rebels, the US, EU, and the UK are hurling sanctions on the Ethiopian government and its people. Instead of pressuring TPLF to stop violating human rights, they seem to provide thinly-veiled diplomatic support.
Some experts suggest that the conflict in Ethiopia can be seen as a proxy battle for external powers to exert neo-colonial influence over Ethiopia and other African countries. Following the peaceful resolution of the long-standing no war no peace state between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the two countries signed a regional cooperation agreement with Somalia. This cooperation is aimed at facing common security threats, such as political conflicts, terrorism, and drought. The cooperation complements and strengthens the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). However, this has prompted a mixed response from some foreign powers, and they seem set to reverse the political orientation in the Horn.
Objective of the conference
Ethiopian Professionals Association in Southern Africa (EthPASA) is organising this conference with the intention of facilitating discussion among a wide variety of academics and the general public with interest in the theme and finding solution for the ongoing conflict.
The Keynote speakers and panellists will enlighten us on the following issues:
- What is the cause of the war from historic, political, and geopolitical perspective?
- The impact of the conflict on the pan-African movement fuelled by the ‘#NoMore campaign’,
- The possible interest of western governments and think tanks in this conflict,
- The role of mainstream media (MSM) aggressive misinformation/disinformation campaign and negative reporting against Ethiopia; the how and why of the coordination,
- How could Ethiopia and the greater African region protect itself from similar misinformation and media attacks? Does the AU have or should have a role in this, or should member states be left alone to defend themselves?
- What do other African countries learn from more than a year long crisis in Ethiopia?
- How can we end the conflict?
- What is the extent of damage inflicted on the country’s infrastructure and people, due to the conflict?
- What are the priority areas and approach for rebuilding?
- How do we build trust, unity of purpose and sustainable Peace for Development in Ethiopia after this conflict ends?
- How can EthPASA as a professional association in diaspora contribute to the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts in Ethiopia?
- How do we approach funding organizations, industry and individuals to help in the healing and reconstruction of Ethiopia?
- The impact of the conflict on the Ethiopian social fabric, especially Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia. What needs to be done to ensure the harmonious co-existence of the people of Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia?
Paper presenters and Moderators
In the interest of promoting peace and development, the dialogue papers will be presented and facilitated by prominent scholars with significant acquaintance with the subject matter.