tv Inside Story 2018 Ep 259 Al Jazeera September 16, 2018 8:32pm-9:00pm +03
people have been destroyed in the northern province of congo jaan and some remote areas remain. youth activists and journalists have been protesting in yangon on demanding the release of two reuters journalists i i i i the journalists were sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this month both men were arrested last year while reporting on a story about the murder of range of muslims in rakhine state last week me and i'm saying suchi denied they were detained because they were journalists she said they had broken state. that's a look at the headlines here on al-jazeera inside story is coming up next.
once branded a terrorist group and now the government welcomes back the aroma liberation front three fiocco here is the country on track to genuine democracy and me conciliation what does it mean for the volatile region this is inside story. hello and welcome to the show i'm sam is a than it was an organization once banned in ethiopia now it's likely to become involved in mainstream politics tens of thousands of people attended a ceremony in abbott's out of a to welcome the aroma liberation front while the celebrations took place across the aroma region this is the latest of sweeping measures taken by prime minister
abu ahmed since he came to office in april his aim to build a new political framework that involves ousted groups as part of an initiative to end years of ethnic conflict lore about manly reports. an exiled leader and a group of fighters this is one spin consider it a terrorist organization on saturday the aroma liberation front returned to ethiopia to a hero's welcome with a massive concert and out it's about as mescal square. in this world truth good him but love and hate freedom and slavery equality and inequality exist struggling with each other at the end of the do. truth good love freedom and equality will be victorious. and fifteen hundred liberation front members were living in neighboring eritrea returned after a string of government reforms the new prime minister the country's first
a rebel leader has courted opposition groups to renounce violence and engage in talks he wants to see a multi-party democracy despite being the largest ethnic group aroma approaches to say that felt marginalized for years we are supports there or left because of all of this ourselves just. for our culture our agency for. people and nationality. a week ago another opposition group seven returned after more than ten years in exile. prime minister made this to give a real freedom to ethiopian people and i know it will bring change as once banned fighters return from eritrea there's also a new reconciliation process happening between the countries. that been locked in
conflict since one thousand nine hundred eight in a dispute over the shared border that led to a khasi two year war which killed nearly one hundred thousand people now ahmed is pursuing economic opportunities with eritrea in the hope of attracting development and jobs but not everyone is celebrating the change in the political landscape this be fighting on the streets of the ethiopian capital after the liberation front displayed its flag. in order to pursue development in one of the world's fastest growing economies prime minister ahmed will focus on healing. ethnic divisions inside story lore about manly al-jazeera. let's bring our guests into the show now than we have in adam ethiopia a wall allo his assistant professor of cube university in the u.k. in london. research rick cambridge university and in frankfurt the dalai lama
editor in chief of the adice standard in this amabel welcome all of you to the show let me start with said oliver and you think the return of the o.l.f. there is a spell the end of the aroma conflict. that depends on how the royal left and the government position themselves and the negotiations to be followed from now on where it is there were a lot of fans made it clear essentially that they're ready to renounce their our distributor which has been ongoing for the last fifty plus years since the party was established and they will be getting into a peaceful political struggle on the ground and that you're in now if sadness that they made it clear that they will be willing to support their reform program that is being undertaken by the ruling party currently in the air lazing a peaceful transition. from now on wives but it only been sort of where i think he will see issues the party is going to be having with the city government and how is
the sitting government going to position itself into accommodating the parties activity from now on where it is but all in all i think it is heralding in the end of the army to strength to be on the optimistic side or right going to and then if it's no longer an armed group what does it become simply a political party that participates one assumes in parliamentary elections. we don't know yet. in many way if that's going to be the case bar in might also form coalitions with other or more factions it might form coalitions with. other ethnic liberation movements around the country so what the future entails in terms of quality in politics and in terms of organizational politics is not clear in my view but there seems to be. but it's going to mean for me on one of the political process my question is how much of a real genuine free democratic political process is there for the o.l.f.
or anyone else to join right now most if not all the seats in the parliament are held by the ruling party and its allies right. yes so this is a transitional phase at least until the next election in twenty twenty. so i don't think anyone would expect any changes in that regard until then but even if you had . the possibility for elections. sooner than that i don't think the opposition parties would be very well they need time to organize any time to mobilize their support base they need time to raise funds and so forth so i think both d.p. r.d.f. and the opposition groups see this as a transitional phase and that's how it should be seen. so they exactly. number of seats one has in parliament today is not the most important thing it's how we prepare for the coming democracy the coming democratic election in
twenty twenty or the coming democracy i like that term we're going to come back to in a moment but let me first before we talk about democracy we go over to a wall parties need time to prepare for any elections do they also groups lie or left need time to modify some of their longstanding slogans like national service determination for the aroma people do need to change their aspirations and how easy will that be. i think it's important to note that the or a more liberation front or a left is one of the more significant political movements in the history of ethiopia. and it's a movement that those in aspire to generation of all more petitions including those who are spearheading the change that is taking place in your bid to date and this is a movement that has been committed for of a lot of times as
a. nation on the on what people but self-determination can be called internal and external can be a solitary mission generally exercised in the sense that the almost can call themselves of the region of labor that it can't participate in a process or share on the center that either of these at the level of you're going to state but all i will need some time then to reinterpret right and to propagate amongst their own people who may have been harboring different hopes. absolutely i think back in the days around one thousand nine hundred. ninety seven is there was a lot of uptake for externals for more substantial nation but i don't think there is an update for some of self-immolation today most of them up with the movement some abandon the idea of standards of terminations the oil left. to kill or leave we are to look at the speech delivered yesterday by the chairman i don't think it
needs ask committed to the idea of standards of their nation insofar as the autumn of people fleeing to the right will itself to be free to express its culture it's to speak this language to be treated equally in the tube in a state most political organization now are focused on making this transition work and i think that's what we heard from the chairman of the all nations on yesterday . going to look at the bigger picture here do you see an intention a desire on the part of the government to resolve all the ethnic differences and problems in the country not just the one with the o.l.f. to some extent i'm not sure if that's. if they have a very coherent program for doing that there's been a focus on political liberalization and. respecting human rights and along people to speak freely and take part in the political process there's
been a focus on focusing on national unity. beyond that a more systematic way of. creating a new consensus bridging the divide between the different competing nationalisms i haven't seen much of that the discourse of the current imperative leadership. seems to focus more on. having a. good attitude and being forthcoming and bracing different political organizations without necessarily having thought out how we peacefully co-exist within this political diversity how different. particular competing nationalisms can co-exist or if there isn't that style guess that's really
concerning then if there hasn't been a lot of thought towards how do competing nationalisms co-exist darley do you expect other armed groups might join this political reconciliation process if we can call it man. yeah i think there is a broad understanding right now but what my brother boyd some say it is a completely nationalist and i think there are there is it you know this the merchants of broad understanding that if you're. hoping to different nations and nationalities and and it's narrative cannot be defined by predominantly what it used to be before so there is that there's going to standing up all the different parties that every presenting the different ethnic groups in that country while this is only the beginning the process will pretty much to be determined by how the countries you know efforts in building the civil society is going to be within the
next two years before the election is going to happen because definitely there needs to be some some kind of consensus over the different competing nationalists in the country on where the country's headed to after after the next election they nixon is i think one of the biggest test for the ruling party right now because that would then be if you decided democratically it will have a chance to produce a democratically mandated government which will then to steer the governed you know the people of europe yet in terms of having a bigger say to why it is where we want to take the country into so the next two years will be very very crucial in in the strains and in democratic institutions like a free and fair in europe and board and the civil society the judiciary and all these institutions that they write a role in helping the people of utopia determine what kind of country they like to
have after a democratically elected government is in place so he or you to follow this is perhaps the best of argument around thing about this perhaps the best a beautiful point to transition them in. the point of democracy and what we can expect ahead which are going to was mentioning a moment ago let me take that question though to a wall and do you think see the country is now on the road to a genuine democratic process do you expect elections in twenty twenty to be free and fair and to produce a new democratic truly democratic order since the ruling party made the decision generally twenty eight. why did the protestant courses and also try and force or national consensus among the bodies forces when the country the government has taken some concrete steps the prime minister the current prime as they're all appointed in earlier created. this year over the course of the last six months you
have done some remarkable work in terms of opening up support going posters in light in a number of different political movements what's hard is that for four cents to live in exile for the last twenty seven years later how has been highly colored in changes within the country i am back in the country after about eight or seven years what i have seen is incredible in terms of political openness to the point that the government is so tolerant that there is some. concern among the population that there is a breakdown of law and order so if what we see on the ground a lot of and what we saw all of the course of the last six years or any indication to go by i think you're bit would have a fairly democratic competitor a competitive and fair elections in iraq i guess. we can say more we've seen in other places in africa countries sometimes government sometimes open
up become a little more inclusive without going all the way to becoming truly you know true democracies genuine democracy is that we take the question back to the dalai then do you think i guess the key question is. a true democracy would mean a change in power do you think the dominant class is ready to relinquish some power right now in the open i think that the reckoning the party the ruling party has been doing since december last year is is a genuine and i do believe it's a good way of life because for two reasons one is that they have realized they have come to the end of their dominance that there have reached to the you know a point of no return because of the persistent pressure from the protesting people to see them so using the elections coming and they are the next elections are going to be something very different from anything we were seen before truly democratic free experiment it will be very very very different because we have
a no we can society right now you know the people of egypt almost broadly i am saved realize that this is the time this is the time to make it happen and the government also recognizes that and this is the last chance that they have into you know their journey to to to a different kind of political party there is a true reckoning on both sides so i do believe that this is not going to be curbed by one way or another going to ms the motivation here for change to focus on economic development and the focus on power projection abroad do you agree with that sort of analysis i think is primarily survival they were threatened there was an existential threat. to the protests of the last two years and the aperitif would not have been able to survive without some sort of reform so this wasn't. motivated by economy concerns or foreign policy concerns or anything like
that this was either. we form or perish and i think that was the primary concern. do you think the reforms nevertheless will help the country to meet some of its economic challenges about one third of the population is in poverty according to world bank statistics i think illiteracy claims around half the population the right challenges unemployment is high amongst the youth do you think this kind of reform process is going to bring in foreign direct investment and and spur the economic scene. absolutely i think the fact that there was this cloud of uncertainty and insecurity in ethiopia one thirty two years going to make developments very much. according to figures if you're. one of the fastest growing economies in the world of the workforce of the last in you still growing by double digits. i'm not highly sure that actual
goal is consistent with the data from one of bank and i.m.f. but certainly there were very simple developments in ethiopia was part of the last ten fifteen years but with this cloud around the viability of the well being listed as a result of this change that is taking tests but also the changes that are taking place within the region and i think if you have the index i would impose on all sectors in terms of economic stability political stability also the regional situation can of course and that would provide i think a very good condition for foreign direct investment to come in because that is one of the. counts in terms of making investment decisions to the family no doubt this reform process also involves a bit of reaching out to neighboring countries a peace agreement between ethiopia and eritrea leaders meeting in gender in saudi
arabia that kind of dynamic know will impact regional politics as a whole right. it definitely has a spillover effect as we have seen it in the last couple of weeks we don't have to go back in a fright there but to add on what my brother i would say there about improving dane dix of if you're going to bring it to the eritrea and peace process that is only going right now one of the one of the things that you would hear from many foreign investors in the past year spreads that there their lack of confidence in ethiopia's ability to respect them the flow this was one of the major things that these people government never recognized as having impact on its credibility for not. abiding by the international know that they have signed. to eritrea and now border commission in two thousand and two so the fact that if your guy has now without precondition accepted the decision has its own implication in
a way that it is not projecting an image of a country that is respecting to abide by international laws that it has signed so this is one effect the other as you mentioned is of course the spillover effect you know the peace process itself today that is moving towards a positive and as we have seen it the last two days ago they have signed the fine and i commend and also in bringing peace between. i'm sorry between forty and eritrea to this end and to some extent also somalia and to pretty well i would hope that this would have its own impact in and of itself so this this is a very big achievement i would say of the problems there are beyond its government so far in terms of civilizing the horn of africa which is rather a very you know could stand to be perpetually at friday in a region if we talk about that's fascinating as you've mentioned some changing political dynamics though in a whole bunch of countries not just ethiopia djibouti eritrea and i wonder going to
always be on the verge of seeing the regional politics change and if so how. the region of politics is always changing. and there's been a lot of reports from and in the region prior to abi ahmed. and. nuance of calm after i.b.m. and obviously where this is exactly going is unclear. the extent to which it will lead to a long lasting peace between. the extent to which. saddam might be might feel left out of this equation and gravitate more puts egypt. there are many sort of open questions in that regard i think we have to wait and see. just exactly where the region is going in terms of. peace and stability but i think definitely.
we have come one step closer to a peaceful regional order in the horn of africa thanks of the. prime ministership but also we also have to consider you know the role of external middle eastern actors in this region and also you know the somaliland somalia problem and there are loads of variables and factors that are sort of outside of. its control. and influence so there are limitations to the sort of. conclusions we can draw from. the things that have been happening in in the last few months or i going to mention you did mention though there goes that some of these dynamics preceded me becoming the prime minister let me take this question to a will in adam a ethiopia how much of the change is going on whether we're talking regional or the domestic changes going on within ethiopia are
a result of the prime minister's personal vision and initiatives and how much backing does he have he's in the romo how much backing does he have from the establishment from the to great people and so on i think a significant part of course the changes that have been taking listening to pierre . due to the courage of the current leadership the decision to change it so i think it belongs to the e.p.a. if a whole mainly because the e.p.a. already have commodities that i had as a government i did not made that decision to change so there were a lot of implications a lot of others within the ruling party did it in terms of how to move the country forward after the result of that confrontation with the public within the party i'd be on it and his theme. emerged as a leader once he was confirmed as the prime minister by the european parliament he took that decision to bring about robots and of change within the country
i don't think it would have been possible for other people for example other individuals to take on the security or part of its own to that or to take on the deep state. and the cutting the determination the commitment to allow the media. do that work. in ways that's very different from the past and also to permit people to enjoy the freedom that i've never said that they have heard a lot handsomer than your heart even even beyond adulthood what i thought that a year of free trade where we are running out of time forgive me there are a war we'll have to pick it up perhaps on a later show for now let's thank our guests very much for their contributions i will alow going term governor of the well and so dalai lama and thank you to fortune you can see the show again any time by visiting our website al jazeera dot com or for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com forward
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