Addis Abeba – The 11th edition of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, also known as the Tana Forum, has been postponed from 13–15 October, 2023, to April 2024. The forum, which is organized by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University, has been rescheduled due to what organizers labeled as “unforeseen circumstances”. The decision to postpone was made after careful deliberation between the Tana Board, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Tana Secretariat, according to a statement posted on the official website of the IPSS.
Recently, major cities and towns in the Amhara region, including the regional capital Bahir Dar, where the yearly Tana Forum has taken place, have witnessed an escalation of conflict between government forces and the Fano armed group. In response to these escalations, the federal government has declared a state of emergency, citing the security situation in the regional state as a threat to national security and public safety.
While major cities in the Amhara region are gradually returning to a state of normalcy after the command post overseeing the state of emergency declared a curfew, fresh fights have broken out in various cities and towns in the region recently. Just yesterday, Lalibela town was reportedly rocked by the sound of heavy artillery.
The Tana Forum, established in 2012, aims to promote African-led solutions through discussions on strategic and proactive management of peace and security issues in Africa. It brings together over 250 participants, including current and former African leaders, stakeholder groups, and peace and security experts from across the continent. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo serves as the board chairperson of the Tana Forum.
This is not the first time the forum has been postponed. The 10th anniversary edition, initially scheduled for 25–28 November, 2021, was postponed due to the war in the northern part of the country, specifically in the Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions. In 2020, the 9th Tana Forum was also postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AS
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