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ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia wants to adopt a supplementary budget of 122 billion birr ($ 2.5 billion) to help finance reconstruction programs in war-torn areas and provide humanitarian aid, the ministry said. Finances.
The budget is much larger than previously announced in the country.
Government-affiliated media Fana said on Monday that the government was seeking an additional $ 102 million “to use for the rehabilitation of those affected by war and conflict.”
“The additional budget will be spent on the country’s security, humanitarian aid (…) and other necessary government work,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. The request will have to be approved by the parliament which is expected to give its approval, but the ministry did not specify how the money would be collected.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray, the federal government and its allies have been at war for over a year.
The ongoing conflict has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.
Among those who have borne the brunt of the conflict are aid workers.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement Thursday that a staff member had been killed in northern Ethiopia.
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi tweeted that the staff member was killed on December 28.
Ethiopian lawmakers have approved a bill to establish a national dialogue commission, amid international pressure for negotiations to end the conflict.
The Federal Parliamentary Assembly voted by an overwhelming majority in favor with 287 votes in favor, 13 against and one abstention.
“The creation of the commission will pave the way for a national consensus and will maintain the integrity of the country,” says the bill.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has pledged to create such a commission to establish common ground on contentious issues.
The commission, however, will not engage at this stage with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray or the Oromo Liberation Army, both of which have been declared terrorist organizations by the government.
Some government officials have said specifically that the new commission will not engage in talks with the Tigray organization.
But the establishment of the commission may be an effort to respond to persistent calls from the international community for a ceasefire and inclusive dialogue to resolve the conflict, said Tsedale Lemma, CEO of Jakenn Publishing, publisher of the famous media outlet. Addis Standard.
“When the international community has called for an inclusive dialogue to address the worsening crisis in Ethiopia, there is no ambiguity about the need for such a dialogue to be truly inclusive by involving various stakeholders, including armed groups, in the process, ”Tsedale said.
The government so far has a strict no-negotiation policy with armed groups, she said.
“Against this background, it is safe to say that the National Dialogue Commission is just an extension of the government’s inadequate attempt to scratch the thick surface of Ethiopia’s otherwise multi-layered and complex political crisis,” she declared.
The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia continues to urge its citizens wishing to leave the country to do so by taking commercial flights.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta about the situation in Ethiopia, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“They agreed on the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities, unhindered humanitarian access, an end to human rights abuses and violations, and a negotiated resolution to the conflict,” Price said.
But Ethiopian officials have continued to protest the interference of the United States and other Western countries in the country’s internal affairs.
“These (Western) countries, especially the United States, support the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray in addition to exerting various pressures on Ethiopia,” said Zadig Abrha, an official in the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Federal Army and its allied forces have retaken in recent weeks areas of the Amhara and Afar region which had been in the hands of Tigray forces since July.