News: Amidst rejection from opposition groups, Tigray concludes establishment of IRA, awaiting negotiated deal with federal gov’t 

Tigray leader Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD), Tigray Combatants Chief Commander General Tadesse Werede among others leading the IRA establishing conference (Picture: DW)

Addis Ababa – The Tigray region has announced that it has finished preparations to establish Interim Regional Administration (IRA) pursuant to the Pretoria peace agreement reached between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF in November last year, and is awaiting to strike a negotiated deal with the federal government on the IRA.

“The process of establishing an interim government has been concluded from Tigray’s side, the next step is to negotiate with the federal government,” deputy chairperson of the IRA establishing committee Muluwork Kidanemariam told Addis Standard.

According to Muluwork, after conducting various tasks, the committee of nine members set up to oversee the establishment of the IRA held a two day conference since 02 March, and 400 representatives from across the region have taken part in the formation of the IRA.

Muluwork said, “everything including who will hold what position has been sorted out” adding that, power sharing among the ruling TPLF, the military, opposition groups and scholars have been agreed upon.

Despite efforts according to Muluwork, to make the IRA inclusive, the conference however was boycotted by the three major opposition political parties operating in Tigray region, who also invalidated the establishing committee from the get go.

The parties; Tigray Independence Party, Salsay Weyane and National Congress for Greater Tigray in a joint media briefing on 16 February, announced that they will not accept the committee that will oversee the establishment of Interim regional government, adding that they have no relationship with the committee.

The Parties also questioned the legitimacy of the TPLF led regional government which is leading the initiative of establishing the IRA including setting up the committee.

Kinfe Hadish, Communication Director of Salsay Weyane Party disclosed during the joint media briefing that the Tigray government ceased to exist as of 03 October, 2022 and the non-existing government can’t establish a committee.

Muluwork however said, the ruling TPLF is mandated in the Pretoria peace agreement to lead the establishment of the IRA and that parties’ question over the legitimacy of the whole process is unacceptable.

He said despite their absence at the conference, they have been allocated a cotta in the IRA and they are expected to submit a list of their representatives and take up positions given to them. He added, if they fail to do so the cotta allocated for them would be divided between the military and the scholars according to a decision made during the conference.

The deputy chairperson noted that the federal government, according to the Pretoria agreement, should have a place in the IRA, adding that a deal would be negotiated accordingly if it does not accept and approve the outcomes of the conference. 

Article 10 of the Pretoria agreement stipulated that “…until elections for the Regional Council and the House of Peoples’ Representatives are held under the supervision of the Ethiopian National Election Board, the establishment of an inclusive Interim Regional Administration will be settled through political dialogue between the Parties”. AS

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