The NRC calls upon business communities to support the rehabilitation and reintegration efforts of ex-combatants in Ethiopia

(Addis Chamber, January 25, 2024:) The National Rehabilitation Commission( NRC) is established last year with a regulation approved by the Council of Ministers shortly after the Pretoria peace accord with a mandate to demobilize and rehabilitate ex-combatants located in various regions of Ethiopia.

According to the commission, more than 371,000 former combatants are listed out across different regions of Ethiopia that need to be addressed by the joint efforts of all stakeholders including business communities.

In a panel hosted by Addis Chamber in collaboration with NRC, a high profile meeting is conducted to address the issues of ex-combatants sited in multiple areas of the country.

Dubbed as “The Role of Business Communities for Peaceful Economic Activity” the high profile consultation meeting brought together key stakeholders to deal with durable peace and security in Ethiopia.

In her remark, Mesenbet Shenkute, President of Addis Chamber, spoke to the panel saying that the political crisis unfolding locally and globally resulted in bringing trade deficit, high rate of inflation, debt burden and the likes.

She added that such crisis unfolding globally and locally is uniquely affecting private sector and business communities in general.

Thus, Addis Chamber, as one of its mandate to advocate on sustainable peace and security for ease of doing business, will be keen to work with National Rehabilitation Commission to rehabilitate former fighters.

While addressing the panel, Ambassador Teshome Toga, Commissioner of the NRC, urged the business communities and the entire stakeholders to engage in the rehabilitation and re integration efforts of ex- combatants.

The commissioner also underlined that such efforts are not solely given to the government rather it requires the active participation of all stakeholders including the business communities.

While emphasizing this, the commissioner said that as long as the absence of peace and security remains intact, it will affect business community, thus requires the active engagement of such communities to support the current initiative of helping ex-combatants to return to normal life.

Particularly the role of business community is fundamental in providing employment opportunities, peace advocacy engagements, capacity buildings, financial support for various development projects such as agriculture and manufacturing that are potentially assumed to employ ex-combatants.

The high profile panel discussion also hosted hot discussion preceded with presentations made by three scholars, Dr yonas Ashine( AAU), Ato Shanko Delelegn ( from NRC) and Assistant Prof. Daniel mekonnen ( from initiative Africa).

While sharing his thought, Yonas Ashne (PhD), professor of political science at the Addis Ababa University, highlighted on the need to engage business communities for peace building efforts undertaking in Ethiopia and employing both vertical and horizontal integration among and between stakeholders is key to achieve peace building efforts in Ethiopia.

Mr. Shanko Delelegn, office Head of the NRC also highlighted the importance of collective efforts and cross border discussion among various actors and stakeholders to ensure rehabilitation, re integration and lasting peace in Ethiopia.

Mr.Shaniko made presentations on the roles & mandate of NRC to sensitize among the business communities.

Assistant Prof Daniel Mekonnen on his part reflected that Business( economic) interaction among the society can have a paramount role to minimise incidents like war and conflicts.

Business for peace and vice versa are the best ingredient to one another, he said.

The panel that strongly calls for the engagement of business communities for sustainable economic development culminated with the signage of MoU between Addis Chamber and the NRC to further embark on rehabilitation & peace building initiatives.