Ethiopia: GSTS Urges Support For Tigray’s New Interim Leader


Tigray’s largest scholars group, Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals association (GSTS), on Saturday, urged all stakeholders to extend support for the newly appointed president of Tigray’s interim administration over a challenging tasks laying ahead.

“We are pleased to learn of Mr. Reda’s appointment and hope that this will lead to the speedy establishment of an effective and functional interim administration,” said GSTS statement  shared with The East African Daily.

On Thursday, the Ethiopian Prime Minister,  Abiy Ahmed, appointed Getachew Reda, a senior official in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as head of an interim government for Tigray after a peace deal ended a bloody two-year conflict.

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed Getachew Reda as president of the Tigray region’s interim administration,” Abiy’s office said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The former Ethiopian Communication Minister, Getachew Reda, appointment to the top regional post came hours after the Ethiopian parliament removed TPLF from an official list of terrorist organizations.

Addis Ababa’s move is said would help bolster the November 2022 agreement signed in Pretoria between Tigray leaders and the federal government.

In its statement, GSTS acknowledged the relief the peace accord has brought to the people.

Despite “immense plight of the people of Tigray following the devastating genocidal war waged against them”

“The agreement has generated aspirations for a transformative political culture to build a resilient democratic community that ensures Tigray’s vital interests including territorial integrity and non-recurrence of genocide.” GSTS said.

The association also reminded the new Tigray administration over interim duties of priority it should focus.

In this regard, it stressed a need for a complete resumption of all basic services, the restoration of territorial integrity, the dignified return, restitution, and rehabilitation of the millions of internally displaced and refugees, as well as the rebuilding of administrative structures.

The organization also called for the provision of redress to victims and survivors of genocide, as well as for the meaningful support and reintegration of war veterans, returnees, and those injured during the war.

“We recognize that much work lies ahead for the Interim Administration and its President,” the statement continued. “But we are confident that with the support of all stakeholders, Tigray can embark on a much-awaited transformation agenda and post-war reconstruction and development that fulfills the needs and aspirations of its people” part of the statement reads.

Furthermore, GSTS urged all stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organizations, and the public at large, to show maximum responsibility at this juncture and work towards common goals to realize the aspirations of the people of Tigray.

“We call on all actors to work together in the interest of the people of Tigray” it said adding “We must all do our part to create an enabling environment for the rebuilding of Tigray with local, national, regional, and international partners”

List of GSTS’s call for Stakeholders 

  1. All stakeholders to seize this opportunity to break historical patterns of cyclical political failure and recurrence of genocidal war, and thus chart a new path where all actors are engaged; capacities and resources are mobilized to safeguard the vital interests of Tigray and its people;
  2. All Tigrayans to grasp this moment and engage responsibly and constructively to support the Interim Administration and the new President, and move together towards healing, peace, post-war reconstruction and development;
  3. All political parties, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to work together in mutual respect, tolerance and understanding to realize the aspirations of the people of Tigray;
  4. The Interim Administration to lay the groundwork for comprehensive institutional reforms, create an enabling environment that encourages the active participation of all Tigrayans, and work with all stakeholders, including local, national, regional and international partners, to mitigate the immense challenges and accelerate recovery and reconstruction efforts;
  5. The Federal Government and the international community to support the interim administration and mobilize resources and capacities to accelerate the much-needed reconstruction and development of Tigray;
  6. The people of the neighboring and other regional states of Ethiopia as well as Eritrea to work for peace and normalization in the region.

GSTS’s Role on IRA

It is to be recalled that GSTS was requested by TPLF (in letters dated 2nd and 5th March 2023) to facilitate the nomination of scholars and professionals for five offices in the Interim Administration of Tigray (IRA).

Per the request, scholars of the Tigrayan diaspora community has presented five nominees to serve in the requested positions, including dupty president of region, for heads of Justice, Industry and Tourism Bureaus.

Accordingly, Gen Tsadkan Gebretensae was presented to the VP post by Global Society of Tigrean Scholars (GSTS), a largest and most active academic and professional association in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa with over 5,000 members worldwide.

The former Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces was presented to serve as vice president in the Interim Government of Tigray.

He was nominated as a cabinet Secretariat (Cluster) for Decentralization and Democratization, with the rank of Vice President.

Gen. Tsadkan who led the Tigray war as commander of Tigrayan rebel forces, is reportedly regarded by international security analysts as one of the finest military strategists of his generation in Africa.

However, it is not yet clear if the federal government has approved Gen. Tsadkan’s nomination.

Erupted in November 2020, the Tigray conflict has claimed the lives of over 600,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.

Neighboring Eritrea has also fought alongside the Ethiopian military but Asmara was not part of the Pretoria talks and has not yet fully withdrawn its forces.

Additional reporting by TESFA-ALEM TEKLE 

(The East African Daily)

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