ATAD-America believes the concerns raised by diverse parts of the society are legitimate and require an immediate solution.
1 TO: Interim Administration of Tigray Establishment Committee
Subject: ATAD-America’s Recommendations on the Establishment of the Interim Administration
This letter is written to you on behalf of ATAD-America, in regard to the establishment of the
Interim Administration Formation Committee. After a briefing given to the diaspora by the
recently nominated committee, we have formed a team to address the concerns reflected by both
the committee and the general public. We have conducted a thorough review of the situation we
are currently facing as a society and have put together our recommendations for a credible,
inclusive, transparent, and smooth establishment process.
We hope that the recommendations and demands, which are highlighted in the attached document,
will be taken into consideration and address the fundamental concerns expressed in the
engagements we have had so far.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
In the wake of the 2020 Genocidal war declared by the Eritrean and Ethiopian joint forces —and
their local, regional, and international allies, the social, political, and economic conditions of
Tigray have been deliberately destroyed beyond repair. This resulted in an outright collapse of the
Tigrayan sovereign State structure, marking the beginning of the infamous Tigray genocide.
Following the collapse of the Tigrayan state, Tigrayans from all walks of life and generational
categories took up arms against the Genocidal war and paid remarkable sacrifices for the noble
cause of defending the motherland and resurrecting the Tigrayan statehood from its wreckage.
What began as a small resistance force in the earlier stage of the war was supported by a formidable
social movement forcing the Ethiopian government to seek a negotiated settlement.
In Nov 2022, the “Pretoria Agreement,” a landmark historical and legal process for permanent
cessation of hostilities was signed. This agreement opened an opportunity to “silence the guns”
and for the parties to pursue a negotiated settlement to the war. Unfortunately, the agreement also
outlawed the legally elected government of Tigray ending its constitutional mandate and creating
a vacuum to properly govern the people of Tigray. Another contentious aspect of the agreement
was the article related to the DDR of the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF). Despite the concerns with
the terms and references in the agreement, the people of Tigray have seized the situation as an
opportunity to transform the political future of the Tigray people. As a result, a committee of nine
people has been formed to facilitate the establishment of the interim government of Tigray.
With this backdrop, ATAD-America expresses its appreciation of the ongoing efforts of the newly
set up “Interim Government Establishment Committee (IGEC)” to engage stakeholders to provide
feedback on the process and outcomes of the formation of the Interim Government of Tigray.
However, the process that led to the formation of the nine people IGEC lacks transparency and
inclusiveness of all stakeholders. Thus, we call for an inclusive, transparent, and participatory
process in order to remedy the apparent pitfalls of the ongoing process which could delegitimize
the outcome. The selection and assignment of the committee would have been well received had
it been preceded by thorough public engagement and consultative meetings that involve multiple
segments of the society including the general public, the intellectuals, and the diaspora among
others. The lack of legitimacy and transparency in the IGEC formation process has left Tigrayans
in ambivalence with a conceivable consequential repercussion unless a quick remedial action is
taken to address the growing criticisms.
ATAD-America’s Suggestions to Redress the Pressing Concerns of Credibility & Inclusion
In response to the popular demands of the Tigrayan population at home and abroad; and based on
the views reflected in the consultative meetings with different sections of the society held by the
designated IGEC members, ATAD-America calls for an immediate resolution of the concerns
expressed in relation to the process and outcomes of the establishment of the committee. Our goal
is to make the process credible, transparent, acceptable and inclusive to the maximum potential
possible. We believe the interim government that results from this process should not be a mere
political exercise among the Tigrayan elite, specifically the TPLF and TDF leadership. Instead, it
should ensure the representation of all Tigrayans without any discrimination and to prevent any
potential to return to conflict and political instability. Therefore, we demand a broad-based
political dialogue instead of limiting the task to what ostensibly is described as elites’ bargain.
I. The Interim/Caretaker Government Formation Committee
- Ensuring Transparency and Representation
Pursuant to the growing criticisms and urgency of the matter, ATAD-America believes the
concerns raised by diverse parts of the society are legitimate and require an immediate solution.
Experiences from different parts of the world—for example the Interim governments of Egypt,
Libya, Sudan, and Belgium— show that the establishment of the interim governments takes
serious planning and vigorous public participation. Both the planning and participation aspects
of the process should start from the very inception of the idea of formation. This includes the
selection of the committee and the bulk of the work that follows afterwards. From the
information shared by Tigray authorities and the designated IGEC, it has become abundantly
clear that the process has been constrained due to the mere emphasis put on the urgency while
disregarding the need to ensure transparency and inclusion. More importantly, the selection of
the committee has shown that transparency is yet a major issue that has to be addressed more
urgently before dealing with other matters. With this understanding, we urge all concerned
bodies to come together and figure out the best approach to address the transparency issue by
setting up an elaborate system of communication and a mechanism to draw representatives
from all Tigrayans from all walks of life. This task is of high priority to expedite the formation
of the interim administration in a conceivable shorter period. Therefore, we call the authorities
involved in this process to take immediate remedial action in the way it renders maximum
- Revisiting the Composition and Mandate of the Interim Government Formation
The committee is expected to reflect the diversity of the people of Tigray. Although we
acknowledge that the people of Tigray are bonded together through a strong national thread of
Tigrayan identity, we also reiterate that they also belong to diverse social categories, values,
belief systems, and political views. As we call for the reconsideration of the constitution of the
committee, we demand the selection template to ensure the representation of women, youth,
community representatives, the different educated class, Civil Society organization, faithbased
communities, and the internally displaced people (IDPs). The involvement of the
diaspora through a mechanism that favors merit-based competency can make the
representation meaningful. In general, the committee should ensure broad based representation
to the maximum degree possible.
- Developing a working Document/ Establishment Framework
Prior to the establishment of the IGEC, creating a panel of high-level experts (Advisory
Committee) who produce Interim Government establishment frameworks, guidelines, and
roadmaps is highly recommended. Without clearly set criteria or guidelines, it is difficult to
measure success and ensure compliance to establishment standards.
The task of the experts is limited to the preparation of documents and presenting it to the Joint
Commission (Indicated below in article 4) to be used as a reference template for the
Establishment of the Interim Government of Tigray that is going to be formed by
representatives drawn from political parties, civil societies, and community representatives,
whose representation are ensured through democratic nomination.
The experts should provide evidence that they have no political membership or affiliation. The
selection/assignment of the IGEC should be carried out through a democratic process
administered within 10 days since the documents, frameworks, and roadmaps are approved in
the Joint Commission for the Establishment of the interim government.
- Establish the Joint Commission for the Establishment of the Interim Government of
Given the complexity of the work and the need to hold the establishment of the Interim
Government in an inclusive, transparent, and credible manner; Believing the “elected” House
of Representatives is dissolved by the agreement signed in Pretoria, we recommend the
establishment of a new regulatory body with a mandate to oversee the establishment of the
Interim Government of Tigray. The Commission can be called The Joint Commission for the
Establishment of the Interim Government of Tigray. The Joint Commission for the
Establishment of the Interim Government of Tigray shall be established to oversee the
establishment process and monitor the progress of the tasks entrusted to the IGEC, approve the
documents produced by the panel of experts (aka advisory committee) and review and approve
the nomination of the members of the Interim Government Establishment Committee. This is
the highest body that makes decisions with regard to the process for the establishment of the
Interim Government and it will have the mandate to verify, amend, and approve all steps in the
process including the nomination, appointment, and approval of the Interim Committee
Establishment Committee. This Commission shall be established mainly by all Political Parties
of Tigray ensuring equal representation of all political parties of Tigray (5 representatives from
each party), 5 representatives of the TDF, at least 5 representatives of the Civil Society
Organizations, up to 5 representatives of faith-based organizations, up to 5 representatives of
the intellectual community, and 7 members from marginalized, displaced and communities
highly affected by the genocide.
- Representation of the Diaspora in the Joint Commission for the Establishment of the
Interim Government of Tigray
The Tigrayan diaspora all over the world have played a significant role in the struggle against
the Tigray Genocide. Their contribution was all rounded without which the gains of the
Tigrayan resistance would have been problematic. More than the material and substantive
support they provided to the struggle; the diaspora played as a rallying force for social justice
and anti-genocide struggle at different global settings. Their unique position in the struggle has
enabled them to create a cohesive and formidable Tigrayan resistance unchallenged by
manyfold differences along party lines, political views, religious beliefs, and generational
variants. The diversity of views, expertise and experiences in the Tigray Diaspora community
have created an opportunity to create a formidable social movement that was able to reach and
influence several powerful governments, international organizations and international media.
ATAD-America believes the experiences and potentials of the diaspora can help first, to
translate gained knowledge and experiences into the newly established interim administration
and serve as a vehicle to settle differences and disagreements in a mutually beneficial way
based on the Tigrayan tradition. It will also help to address challenges in a way that makes
sense to all Tigrayans. The involvement of the diaspora in the process can further help to
advance reconciliation and redress of existing or past misunderstandings, mistakes, and
mishandling in a way that fosters mutual trust and collaboration. Above all the diasporas can
bridge the transfer of democratic values from the practices of the countries they live in order
to make Tigray’s future more inclusive and promising. Based on this, we propose the Tigray
Diaspora to be included in the Joint Commission for the Establishment of the Interim
Government of Tigray (JCEIGT) in the following matrix: 2 from the United States of America,
1 from Canada, 2 from Europe, 1 from Asia and Pacific, 1 from Australia, 1 from the Middle
East and Gulf states, and 2 from Africa and the middle east. We demand a total of 9 seats for
the diaspora altogether. The Tigray diaspora composed of 9 members representing a broad set
of social categories from the cross sections of the Tigrayan societies is recommended to ensure
the consideration of international experiences for the smooth transfer of power through a fully
Tigray-owned effort. The notable inclusion of the diaspora in the process will enable the
JCEIGT to have access to diverse expertise and experiences from the international arena. More
importantly, the presence of the diaspora in the process shall demonstrate the ability of the
Tigrayan political system to harness the potentials of those outside Tigray under the rubric of
shared Tigrayan identity. This is a fundamental move forward to curb any division between
various forces operating in Tigray by fostering a meaningful dialogue.
- Tasks, Responsibilities, and Mandates of the Interim Government Establishing
The IGEC is responsible for leading the processes for the establishment of a credible, inclusive,
and democratic interim government using the mechanism outlined by the panel of experts. The
IGEC should be accountable to the joint commission and the people of Tigray. Its mandate
ends when the interim government is established.
At this historical juncture, we are at the crossroads of changes which opens up the stage for a
better future. If we handle the current process of change and succeed to establish an allinclusive
interim government, we believe we can start to move on the path towards healing
and rehabilitation from the brunt of genocidal suffering we experienced as a society. This will
also pave a path towards a better future that can not be reversed. Therefore, we expect the
Interim Government that operates in Tigray should constructively and collectively work to
address and transform Tigray into the height it deserves. We aspire for a transitional process
that helps to resolve critical public questions and redress grievances by forming credible
institutions. It is our hope that the interim government works on the basis of consensus building
and reach general agreement on major issues that require serious decision considerations.
——————————————–End of Part One————————————————
II. The Interim Government
The interim government is the highest authority in the administrative structure of Tigray, and
it will be entrusted with all mandates to execute all administrative responsibilities. This body
is directly accountable to the council drawn from the diverse societies of Tigray. The
composition of the interim administration should reflect the demographic, social, cultural,
ethnic, and gender mix of the people of Tigray. Because this position is the biggest job operated
under highly complex conditions, competence and commitment are the most cardinal
requirements to be considered eligible. Although we demand inclusion of all Tigrayans to the
fullest possible, we also demand to conduct this process based on merit and qualification. The
details can be worked out by the establishment council in consultation with the Joint
Commission for the Establishment of the Interim Government of Tigray.
Framework for the Establishment of the Interim Government of Tigray:
● The parties involved in the establishment of the interim government shall agree to
accomplish the creation of a caretaker administration within a period not exceeding 30 days
from the beginning of the establishment task.
● The Interim government establishment Committee can set up an advisory legal Sub-
Committee to assist and follow-up on the establishment process. The Committee shall
define the structure, powers, and duties of both the legal sub-committee and the
● In the situation where the 30 days deadline stated in the first bullet of this section ends
before the establishment of the interim government, the Joint Commission for the
Establishment of the Interim Government of Tigray takes the responsibility of extending
the mandates of the committee and the sub committees.
● The establishment shall fully ensure equality of all Tigrayans and foster a political space
where all Tigrayans participate regardless of political views, gender, and political
● The process shall ensure compliance with internationally accepted norms and practices.
The Structure and Composition of the Interim Government
● The Tigray interim/caretaker government shall consist of the caretaker government and
the Tigray People’s National Council
● The Caretaker government shall consist of the president of the interim government,
cabinets, and major institutions such as the Bureau of Justice
● The Tigray People’s National Council shall consist of members selected or delegated
from grassroots social organizations, diverse social groups, and political forces.
● These representatives serve for the duration of time the interim government exists in
session and are entrusted with the tasks of coordinating and facilitating the service delivery,
security, and renegotiation of the political space by different political actors in Tigray.
● The Caretaker government shall select the President, Vice President of the interim
government, and the president of Bureau of Justice on the basis of a mechanism agreed and
approved by the Tigray People’s National Council
● In the formation of the Tigray Interim Government, the establishment committee shall pay
greater attention to competency, merit, and fair representation all Tigrayans.
● Representation shall reflect the inclusion of minority groups, and merit-based
representation of women shall be taken as top priority.
Duties and Powers of the Interim/Caretaker Government
● The interim government shall begin reconstituting the path to the reconstitution of the
government of Tigray.
● Deliver efficient, effective and timely service to the people.
● Oversee and execute the proper allocation of resources, government budgets, expenditures,
and reestablish the business and financial systems of Tigray.
● Ensure that the genocide and human rights abuses experienced over the past two years are
fully documented and see the light of justice.
POLITICAL PARTY ENGAGEMENT
The establishment committee shall hold consistent meetings with political parties and
grassroots movements to ensure inclusion of voices and choices in the process. Tigrayan
political parties, although they adhere to some standard of peculiarity, they can be
characterized in two ways. The first category is the normative political party that is dominated
by TPLF and the other is the national political parties represented by the opposition. In Tigray
political parties are gatekeepers to public office. Therefore, ensuring the engagement of
political parties in dialogue is of greater significance to transform our political process.
Without active participation and consistent engagement of political parties, it is difficult to
expect an outcome that can satisfy the interest of every Tigrayan.
CIVIL SOCIETY IN TIGRAY
The role of civil societies in Tigray has remained to be marginal in African standards. Although
civil society organizations showed steady growth in recent years, their participation in the
political process has been too sketchy. Currently, vibrant civil society organizations are
emerging and are populating the social and political space in Tigray. The number and diversity
of CSOs in Tigray, although inadequate, is showing remarkable development with
organizations focusing on a range of issues from good governance, liberation movements,
charity organizations, rights and advocacy groups, gender and disability societies, and other
concerns. Despite the diversity however, their activities have been seriously regulated and their
contributions limited. This is due to mainly lack of conducive political ground in Tigray and
secondly lack of financial and material resources. One of the main contributions of the civil
societies should be to create a balance on the political process that is yet evolving towards
participatory democracy. They create this balance by putting governments on check and
providing spaces for the general public to engage their leaders in multiple ways. In the current
effort to transform the political space in Tigray, civil societies can play a greater role
mobilizing societies to demand their rights and assisting the interim government address the
concerns of society. Serving as interfaces between the people and the interim government they
help the crafting of policies that address the pressing demands of the people. Civil societies
should be seen not as competitors or spoilers in the processes. Instead, they should be treated
as platforms that provide alternatives to government mishandlings.