On Monday December 19, 2022, a document specifying terms of reference (TOR) for a monitoring, verification, and compliance mechanism of the “Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” (the Pretoria agreement) was signed in Nairobi, Kenya. In this TOR the parties agreed to form a joint committee composed of one representative from each of the parties and a representative from Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). They also agreed to create a team of African Experts (TAE) that conducts the monitoring and verification of the implementation of the Pretoria agreement. The TOR states that the objectives of the joint committee and TAE are assisting the parties to implement the commitments they made in the Pretoria Agreement, laying the foundation for political dialogue, and monitoring the conduct of the parties with respect to the obligations they assumed in the Pretoria Agreement. Contrary to the above stated objectives, the TOR limits the scope of the TAE to only Permanent Cessation of Hostilities and the Disarmament and Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF). It gives less emphasis to the withdrawal of Eritrea and Amhara militants and ignores the provisions of the formation of the Interim Regional Administration (IRA) as stated in the Pretoria Agreement.
In an OpEd article in a weekly newspaper, Addis Standard, Prof. Mehari Tadele Maru, a prominent expert in transitional governance, advised that the implementation of the Pretoria deal is lagging in civilian protection, aid provision, restoration of services, and withdrawal of foreign forces. He also emphasized that the establishment of an interim governance structure in Tigray has not been given due importance. The TOR is a vindication of Mehari’s observation because it completely ignores the provisions of the IRA which is an important if not the most important component of the Pretoria Agreement.
The importance of the IRA cannot be overemphasized as its success or failure determines the bringing of lasting peace and the nature of Tigray’s relationship with Ethiopia. Article 10 of the Pretoria Agreement states that the IRA will be formed through political dialogue between the Parties within a week of the federal government removing TPLF from its list of terrorist organizations. Mehari, who declared the IRA as “the public face of the Pretoria Deal” expressed his reservation on the Pretoria Agreement’s effort to bring about a forced marriage between the TPLF and the Prosperity Party (PP) of Abiy Ahmed’s government who are greatly at odds with one another.
Mehari advocates for the IRA to take a form of a “Government of National Unity” because, he claims, the IRA is likely to sail into turbulent political waters with resentments of people of Tigray against the Abiy’s government, the mistrust between political forces in Tigray & Ethiopia, and dire humanitarian crisis Tigray and neighboring regions are facing. A government of national unity in Tigray, he asserts, will ensure inclusivity, builds confidence, and offers a the opportunity to bring major parties and stakeholders together. The key reason he provides for the necessity of government of national unity is the need for the IRA to be able to mediate between the several political and military forces and the population at large which will demand a broad-based, inclusive governance structure that can bring together all Tigrayan stakeholders, including members of the Tigray Defense Force, political parties, youth and women’s organizations, scholars, religious leaders, civil society and minority ethnic communities. Based on these assumptions, it is prudent for such an advocate of civilized engagements as Prof. Mehari to call for a government of national unity. But the chances of such a government being formed are very minimal for the reasons he mentioned in his article.
Neither TPLF nor PP are known to work with integrity to the formation of such an inclusive political structure. The mistrust between TPLF, PP, and the other political parties in Tigray is deep rooted that it requires some time to ease. The secretive and conspiracy based political culture of TPLF, and PP will not allow a positive engagement amongst political players. Most importantly neither TPLF nor PP is trusted by the people of Tigray and the people of Ethiopia to chart a path to a democratic system and create a level playing field for political players. A government of national unity has the advantage of bringing all political forces to the table but will tangle decisions and executions with political debates and deadlocks. A government of national unity is the best option to settle political differences and make sure the voices of all stakeholders are included in charting the political path.
But the purpose of the IRA is not to settle political differences or to create a political roadmap. The purpose of the IRA is to ensure the provisions of the Pretoria Agreement are implemented, humanitarian aid is delivered efficiently, basic public services are restored, war destroyed public facilities are reconstructed, and conducive environment is created for National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to conduct regional and federal elections. These mandates require more of execution capabilities rather than political consensus. Therefore, I recommend a technocratic IRA which is composed of non-partisan technical experts. A technocratic government is one in which the decision-makers are selected based on their expertise as opposed to representative democracy in which elected representatives are the primary decision-makers in government. The establishment of technocratic IRA in Tigray has a much better chance of transitioning Tigray into a peaceful and normalized state.
A technocratic government composed of technical experts with clearly defined mandates can execute more effectively. For the war-torn Tigray, a technocratic IRA with effective execution capability is much preferrable than a government of politicians who are at odds with one another. The technocratic government should save any political decisions to the future elected government and focus on clear nonpolitical mandates to be completed within a fixed term during which all parties should commit not to interfere in its activities. The mandates should include the implementation of the Pretoria agreement including the DDR, withdrawal of non ENDF forces, repatriation of IDPs and refugees, restoration of public services, and finally creation of conducive environment for NEBE to conduct the election. Political negotiations between political parties and stakeholders need to continue in parallel while the technocratic IRA works on the mandates given to it. The technocratic IRA should prioritize the delivery of basic services, rebuild infrastructure, restore the market to the formal economy and create stability to improve prospects of lasting peace.
Another important rationale for a technocratic interim government is that the probability of stable post transition political system is much better when no political group controls the process. Both TPLF and PP lack the will to chart a democratic system and are known to take any opportunity to maintain autocracy. The governmental bureaucracy of Tigray and Ethiopia in general is designed to maintain absolute domination of one party. It is very important that the current bureaucracy which is marred with political patronage is discontinued and a merit based technocratic bureaucracy is installed. A technocratic IRA creates the opportunity to disband the deeply entrenched political system of one-party rule and create level playing field for all political parties in preparation of the election. This requires establishment of local administrations that replace the political appointees of the ruling party in local administrations.
It is important that the technocratic interim government is protected from political influence for it to function well, but it is also important that it receives continued support and confidence from the different stakeholders and political parties. International donors and partners should directly work with the interim government to prevent any undue influence by the federal government to use international assistance as a leverage to gain political advantage. The scope of the TOR for the monitoring, verification, and compliance should be expanded to monitoring the performance of technocratic IRA. The TAE and Joint committee should continually evaluate key performance indicators for the IRA and the results should be made public to ensure transparency and accountability.
Considering their political culture, neither PP nor TPLF will trust the other to create a level playing field, but an independent technical, trusted and respected leader can lead Tigray as it navigates through the turbulent journey ahead of it. It is important that the individuals taking over as technocrats to lead the IRA are trusted by all stakeholders and know that they will not assume any power after the end of the term of the IRA. The leader selected to lead the technocratic interim government must be not only technical expert but also a figure who can garner consensus over government decisions, including cabinet appointments, and who also have good relationships with all stakeholders.
One individual who can be tasked with such a big role is Dr. Arkebe Oqubay who worked with both parties and is known to be an effective executive. He is a kind of leader who works relentlessly to achieve goals given to him. He was revered as the best mayor of Africa when he was administering the Addis Ababa city administration. He also served as the vice chairman of the Tigray Regional administration. He was also shortlisted as one of the candidates to lead the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for his transformational leadership in developing industrial parks in Ethiopia. Considering the execution capabilities and large figure head needed to lead the IRA, there is no better technocrat than Dr. Arkebe Oqubay. His one challenge is that he may be seen as a person who betrayed Tigray during the war because he stayed silent while most Tigrayans voiced their opposition to the war crimes committed on the people of Tigray.
Another individual who can take such a big task is General Tsadkan Gebretinsae. The general is a savvy strategist who is known for his military, diplomatic, administrative and business leadership capabilities. He is one of the masterminds who led the Tigray Peoples revolutionary war during the Derg regime. He also led the reestablishment of the ENDF after the civil war. He consulted many African countries in their post conflict establishment of states and governments with their security apparatuses. His most valuable strength is his integrity. He is known to be a person of high integrity and can be trusted by all stakeholders. His strategic leadership capabilities can help Tigray navigate through the difficult journey ahead of it. Other non-politicians like Tadesse Yemane, who led Tigray Development Association (TDA) can also take the lead to form a non-partisan technocratic IRA. The engagements between TPLF and PP ruled Federal government of Ethiopia seem to be improving but still need to address the most important components of the Pretoria Agreement. The parties need to stop kicking the can farther and act now! Abiy’s administration should order the withdrawal of all non-ENDF forces from Tigray and TPLF should stop calling itself government of Tigray. A technocratic IRA needs to be formed immediately.
Mersea Kidan is a change and transformational leadership expert and a candidate for Doctor of Business Administration program at Metropolitan State University in USA. Mersea can be reached at [email protected]
13 thoughts on “Tigray Needs Technocratic Interim Government Now”
The issue of EDF and Amhara withdrawal must be immediate. The TDF must not lay arms before all the invaders are out. I do not believe Amhara and EDF will move out by will.
1. Immediate vacation of Amhara and EDF from Tigray soil, with no if but
2. Immediate humanitarian aid to all Tigray
3. Immediate all public services
There is no reason even to disarm TDF since is not created to invade, to fight outside Tigray, it is a self defense army and it must not have been an issue because the problem is invaders entering Tigray, occupying Tigray, why would even TDF the centre of focus while still Tigray is invaded and occupied/
4. All the political parties must come together and form transitional coalition government plus or including able civiliansTigreans who have the capacity to help Tigray. The Coalition Government must Govern Tigray for the transition time. During the transition, Tigrean must form a civil Committee. The civil committee must be all inclusive regardless age, gender, religion, political party. This civil committee must formulate a Tgray road map for post transition. We are not going to do the same thing over and over after now. Radical change is a must after now. We are not going to walk the same path we have walked for 1300 years. When need to go back 1300 years backward and resurrect ourselves from square one. I am writing a road map, but it will not be public soon.
PP and TPLF must not have place in Tigray after now. They must in custody. We must not even talk about them as relevant. They must be arrested all of them .
The other thing, trust me, pp will start assassinating Tigreans elites and it must be known now American Governemnt wants Abiy to be the leaders of Ethiopia including Tigray. if Tigreans think you can work for good with Abiy? you are being taken for a ride. I actually suggest the TDF in Sudan to split and cut its ties with TPF and stay in Sudan as a back up and diaspora must help TDF sudan.
Bitsay Nebula, Paulos Irgau, rest of TPLF ardent supporters crying out loud day and night , we would like regrettably telling you the fact that TPLF will soon disappear like smoke in air, and will not be seen as one of political parties in Tigray. Th extinction of TPLF as political party will allow TIgray to be a peaceful , stable and friendly with the rest of nations and nationalities. Bad News for TPLFites and their top dogs, dogs in human flesh like Nebula !!How much does this website pays you sir ? WE are confidently saying that you will not work here for free . many of your friends are propagating fake info to make money disregarding the safety of Tigray and its ties with other nations and nationalites. We all are Ethiopians , we should stay with Ethiopians being united. You are seeking indepedent Tigray to get a high profiling jobs in overseas and within Tigray , but not out of sheer zeal and care for Tigrayans .Serekti !!
1. Immediate vacation of Amhara and EDF from Tigray soil, with no if but
2. Immediate humanitarian aid to all Tigray
3. Immediate all public services
“Immediate all public services “, try to correct your grammatical mistake , if not you better go to school. Zonked man . Did you wrote this while sniffing Heroine (H) or opium ?
You are telling us how Meles, your uncle, was killed , but we care only about those Tigreans massacred by Eritreans and ethipoians on the account of bad Tigryan leadership, aka weyane top dogs.
Eritrean spies, your relatives , arrested with a considerable amount of money, guns and other accessories .
People who insult , blackmail, slander, bad mouth are mentally and terminally ill. Tigray independence, it is not Tigray independence, it is Axum restoration and rebuilding. You got wrong. We are the oldest nation on the planet with 38 000 years recorded history. Noe one knows who you are Sir. You just come here to bite people like a rabid dog. Dog is you who do not respect . I do not even think you are Tigreway because most Tegarus are cultured and very disciplined citizens of Axum.
You can talk on your own behalf, but you cannot talk about 11 million TIgreasn. Whether you like it or not, Tigray we reclaim, restore and rebuild its historical and ancestral state hood the most the most civilized nation in the world. I swore to you this will happen. You can jump up and down, Tigray is not disappearing per your wish. It is not going to happen. Tigray is going to rise to the stars. You must sick HGDF or rotten confused Nepehtegnea? We were never Ethiopia to begin with you. I told you Ethiopia is a stolen name and this is not my invention. I can show you historical record this Ethiopia never existed before Menelick. If you love this fake Ethiopia? well, you have right be but the Tigray issue is a done deal. We love all nation as we always do, but that does not mean we get lost in the murky water.
But coming soon is Axumite. I swore to you it is coming. I am not simply saying this. It is real coming soon. Amhara can occupy West Tigray for now and they can occupy even the whole Tigray, but the real Tsunami of Axum is coming. If this sucks you blood, then you must sit now and mourn on the death of Ethiopia. The fake Ethiopia is gone for good. All empire are gone and so will be the black and shit hole empire . If you do not like the coming of Axumite, then put a rope around your neck and sling it and you will rest in hell.
How do you feel to day ?
You’re a dog in human flesh. how much do this website pays you ? people like you are plundering their own people in many towns of Tigray . It is nonsens and heartbreaking to see Tigrayans stealing Tigraysns at times of internal displacement and genocide waged by PP
ነፃ ሕዝቦች እንደነበር ነፃ ሕዝቦች እንሆናለን፤፤
አማራ ነን ነባር ህዝቦች ባለ ታሪክ ባለ ቅርሶች ዐማራ ነን፦ ዕ•እ የዳእማኣት ባላሻራ፣ የአክሱም ዙፋን አልጋ ወራሽ፣ ቅመድ፡ዓለም መንግስት ወጣኝ ቅድመ፡ዓለም ጥበብ ጠንሳሽ፤ ዐማራ ነን ስልጡን ሕዝቦች የሐ፣ ሮሐን የተጠበብን ፣ ሐውልት ያቆምን መቅደስ ያነጽን፣ ድንጋይ ፈልጠን አለት ጠርበን። አማራ ነን ነፃ ሕዝቦች
አማራ ሃገር መስራች ኩሩ ህዝብ በባህል በታሪክ ከአፍሪካ ታላቅ ህዝብ ነው የራሱ ቋንቋ ፊደል ያለው ህዝብ ነው በዚህ ያምናሉ⁉
Who entitle you to give tigrean or amharan identity ? who are you ?du bist ein kranker Hund, der an Tollwut leidet und uns hier beißt . Ist Miles Zenawi dein Onkel ? Warum sagst du uns nicht deinen Namen, wenn du aus Tigray, dem Land der Helden, kommst? täuschen Sie uns nicht, Sie als leidenschaftlichen und patriotischen Mann zu glauben. Sie sprechen Kauderwelsch aus, um unsere Aufmerksamkeit zu gewinnen.Depperte, ganz deppert.und TLPF’s Welpe. Get Lost, get out of here !!
Dear editors, stop posting the nonsensical and trashy comments of this mane named Nebula .
You are trash man. no time to waste here
How do you feel to day ? You’re a dog in human flesh. how much do this website pays you ? people like you are plundering their own people in many towns of Tigray . It is nonsens and heartbreaking to see Tigrayans stealing Tigraysns at times of internal displacement and genocide waged by PP ነፃ ሕዝቦች እንደነበር ነፃ ሕዝቦች እንሆናለን፤፤ አማራ ነን ነባር ህዝቦች ባለ ታሪክ ባለ ቅርሶች ዐማራ ነን፦ ዕ•እ የዳእማኣት ባላሻራ፣ የአክሱም ዙፋን አልጋ ወራሽ፣ ቅመድ፡ዓለም መንግስት ወጣኝ ቅድመ፡ዓለም ጥበብ ጠንሳሽ፤ ዐማራ ነን ስልጡን ሕዝቦች የሐ፣ ሮሐን የተጠበብን ፣ ሐውልት ያቆምን መቅደስ ያነጽን፣ ድንጋይ ፈልጠን አለት ጠርበን። አማራ ነን ነፃ ሕዝቦች አማራ ሃገር መስራች ኩሩ ህዝብ በባህል በታሪክ ከአፍሪካ ታላቅ ህዝብ ነው የራሱ ቋንቋ ፊደል ያለው ህዝብ ነው በዚህ ያምናሉ⁉ Who entitle you to give tigrean or amharan identity ? who are you ?du bist ein kranker Hund, der an Tollwut leidet und uns hier beißt . Ist Miles Zenawi dein Onkel ? Warum sagst du uns nicht deinen Namen, wenn du aus Tigray, dem Land der Helden, kommst? täuschen Sie uns nicht, Sie als leidenschaftlichen und patriotischen Mann zu glauben. Sie sprechen Kauderwelsch aus, um unsere Aufmerksamkeit zu gewinnen.Depperte, ganz deppert.und TLPF’s Welpe. Get Lost, get out of here !! Dear editors, stop posting the nonsensical and trashy comments of this mane named Nebula .
Girma Desta told to Nebula that “ኦሮሞዎችም አዲግራት አዲ ጋራ ነው ይላሉ፣ ስላሉ ግን ውነት ነው ማለት አደለም።” what will be your answer . They also say Mekile belongs to Oromia and they will not stop only on this cities . They claim as if Oromos were living in mekile or mekele during Yohanis IV and they have documented evidences. Therefore, it is better to build a strong army in Tigray to, safeguard its people and territory permanently , for generations to come.
However, Nebula and TPLF work only to get their stolen money back with pretext of peace deal and reconciliation.
Down down TPLF and its fans amonf diaspora. Any diaspora supporting TPLF supports the genocide of innocent Tigrayans . Since TPLF is the major reason for this genocide to happen.TPLF is not protecting Tigrayans in areas occupied by this thugs from robbers and killers as long as they are is nothing shaking their chair.
Girma Desta told to Nebula that “ኦሮሞዎችም አዲግራት አዲ ጋራ ነው ይላሉ፣ ስላሉ ግን ውነት ነው ማለት አደለም።” what will be your answer . They also say Mekile belongs to Oromia and they will not stop only on this cities . They claim as if Oromos were living in mekile or mekele during Yohanis IV and they have documented evidences. Therefore, it is better to build a strong army in Tigray to, safeguard its people and territory permanently , for generations to come. However, Nebula and TPLF work only to get their stolen money back with pretext of peace deal and reconciliation. Down down TPLF and its fans amonf diaspora. Any diaspora supporting TPLF supports the genocide of innocent Tigrayans . Since TPLF is the major reason for this genocide to happen.TPLF is not protecting Tigrayans in areas occupied by this thugs from robbers and killers as long as they are is nothing shaking their chair.
While TDF is supposed to strengthen itself , disarming itself will allow third party to encroach and seize Tigrayan land just by twisting two letters of names of Tigrayan towns to fit amharic or any other language.
Kichuu , oromo website,has publiched articles to demonstrate their Land expansion questions.
You suggest in fact you nominate Arkebe Ukbay to lead an interim government in Tigray. It is interesting to say the least. Here is the deal though, integrity, courage and character override erudition or intellect if there is one for that matter. Till then we wait till history renders its verdict on who will be relegated to the footnotes and who will be honored with bold headlines where the one and only General Tsadkan will be on the latter.
We need a system, not individuals
Martin has honestly outlined the causes and effects of the war waged in Tigray. Many of us share his thoughts and justifications that he brought to light in his informative article.
It is an undeniable fact that TPLF has it own share in the extermination of people of Tigray and destruction of public and private infrastructures in Tigray. Hence, don’t stagger to make illogical excuses and pretexts here in order to sweep the role of TPLF in extermination of Tigrayans under the carpet . It is not in a such laughable manner we demonstrate our loyality to TPLF , when nearly a million Tigrayans lost their lives in 2-year long genocidal campaign in cooperation with Eritrean murderous regime led by one man over 3 decades.
Thank you martin for your role in becoming a voice for the voiceless and documenting this gruesome history of mass extinction of innocent Tigrayans.
Aiga news and tghat are TPLF partisans and campaigners and do monetize Tigray genocide
This guy called Palous is the most notrorious and blind TPLF worshipper through out his the past 27 years who have been praising TPLF with no question. Now he comes to tell us about Eritrean sovereignty. We have to tell TPLF supporters it is time for you to shut up because TPLF supporters are liability to Tigray.
We are in this tragedy because the failure of the TPLF leadership to listen to the citizens of Axum for 27 years. I personally ask TPLF supporters to stop misguiding our people at least now. Enough is enough. Paulos, there are many smart Tigreays than you. Writing crude, Shakeperean English imbued articles does not make you smarter. The biggest alarm is there are still TPLF cadres who wanted to indoctrinate us about Eritrean Sovereignty and independence ? Please cadres, give us a break and let others have a say after now. You put us where we are today. You are still telling us to keep quiet while our people are perishing every day/ Beseab beluta
Nebula , you are the hidden spy of Higdef. calm down and stop pretending to be omniscient. slecht hund!!
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