Reagan Okumu: Blog Post 2

My research project is at the stage of data collections from peacebuilding institutions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I am intending to complete this process within the next two weeks. It has not been easy because scheduled appointments have been delayed as most institutions prefer to have their head responsible, handle the interview. I have set to interview government institutions responsible for implementation of the peace agreement, the African Union Secretariate handling the 2022 Pretoria peace agreement mediated by African Union, Intergovernmental Authority On Drought (IGAD) overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement, Civil Societies involved in the peace process, the United Nations Agencies participating in the peace process, and foreign Aid Agencies and Governments. For background to this study, I am also collecting data from various museums in Addis Ababa.

I have learnt a lot since I arrived in Addis Ababa. First, it does not look like a capital of a country at war or under threats of war, but normal life. This can be observed from the many constructions and heavy traffic in the City, and that means the ceasefire is still holding with disarmament process already underway. Below are some pictures to demonstrate that:

I have also been able to learn from some of the museum already, how Ethiopia has endured many conflicts because of bad governance that resulted into many deaths with real pictures and real skeletons of human being killed over the years. Famine victims of mismanagement and neglect are all reflections in the museums. Past regime change has been violent, and this can facilitate the peace process to avoid repeat of conflicts. Below are pictures from one museum that is dedicated to military coup of 1974:

I have also learnt, that since 1991 attempts have been made to create institutions like the one below.

The Human rights Commission investigated the war crime committed during the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam from 1974-1991. Many mass graves were found and excavated, and the remains were examined to find the Identities. Their remains were collected and taken to the Red Terror museum that was built purposely for that. A special prosecutor’s office was established to try war criminals, Mengistu Mariam the President from 1974-1991, was tried in absentia while in exile and convicted to death. The Human Rights Commission also investigated the reasons that led to the coup of 1974 that took power from Emperor Hailie Selassie because of extravagant lifestyle of the Emperor at the total neglect of Citizens who died from drought and hunger.

Below is a picture of the prosecutor in one of the court sessions that is in the Red Terror Museum to demonstrate the need for justice and accountability.

War then broke in 2020 yet another new government, decided to establish a Ministry for Peace to handle the conflict and currently, it is involved in the implementation of the 2022 Pretoria Peace Agreement. Ethiopian Human Rights commission also investigated and compiled a report of violation of human rights by parties to the conflict.

I do not have any change in my research plan except that I am unlikely to have interviews with all the institutions I had intended to interview.