Parliament sets up boundary and ethnic identity commission against stiff resistance from TPLF

by Engidu Woldie

ESAT News (December 20, 2018)

Ethiopia’s parliament passed a bill to establish a “boundary and identity affairs commission” in a bid to resolve border disputes between regional administrations and bring to an end increasing clashes resulting from identity issues.

The proclamation, that was approved with a majority vote, faced opposition from 33 MPs representing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who argued that setting up the commission would violate the constitution. Constitutional experts, however, said the commission only has an advisory role and only presents recommendations to resolve problems related to boundary disputes and identity issues.

The commission will be answerable to the Prime Minister and the House of the Federation, Ethiopia’s lower house, according to the proclamation.

The commission which will be operational for three years would study the causes of disputes over administrative boundaries and questions regarding ethnic identity and suggest solutions to the Prime Minister and House of the Federation.

Ethiopia has seen growing disputes and sometimes deadly clashes over administrative boundaries that were drawn along ethnic lines and related issues regarding one’s identity.