Key Issues

Ethiopia ready to negotiate with Eritrea

Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has said that he is ready to negotiate with Ethiopia’s neighbours Eritrea.

Abiy was sworn in by parliament on Monday with a mandate to implement democratic reforms aimed partly at defusing ethnic tensions in the Oromiya province from which the former army lieutenant general hails.

Abiy, 42, took the oath of office in a ceremony at the House of People’s Representatives in Addis Ababa.

Addressing a parliament session attended by 478 members of parliament, the new prime minister gave an impassioned speech on the need for unity and reform in the Eastern Africa nation.

Today is a historic day. We bear witness to a peaceful transfer of power. Today our situation presents us with opportunities and threats. Today we are in the midst of uncertain times, Abiye said in a speech to parliament.

In his first address to the nation, Abiy expressed his readiness to negotiate with the Eritrean government, to solve the differences between the two states as part of his plan to stabilize the horn of Africa region.

Dr. Abiy Ahmed says his government will respect and carry out its responsibility of maintaining the rule of law. He gave a glimpse into some aspects of priority for his government:

Abiy promised to crackdown on rampant corruption in Ethiopia.

Says his government will prioritise improving the quality of education by adopting sound policies.

Pledged to create job opportunities for the youth, create more young entrepreneurs and business owners.

Called on exiled Ethiopians to return home.

Apologised to civilian victims of the state crackdown and security forces killed in the recent protests.

Extended an olive branch to opposition parties, saying they will henceforth be viewed as ‘competitors not opponents’.

”Their members and supporters are not enemies but our brothers and sisters who hold different political beliefs and viewpoints.”

The prime minister also paid a moving tribute to his mother and wife, a gesture local media said is rare for Ethiopian politicians.

Source: Voice of Nigeria