Ethiopian Parliament Approve Chiefs for Boundary, Reconciliation Commissions

By Sisay Sahlu

ADDIS ABABA – Members of parliament on Thursday have approved leaders for two commissions that will work to resolve boundaries and identity issues as well as help reconciliation efforts in Ethiopia.

The house ratified a bill that set up Identity and Boundary commission in February, and approved another bill that established the Reconciliation commission in December, last year.

The boundary commission is expected to come up with research-based recommendations and solutions to disputes over identity and boundary questions.

The reconciliation commission, on the other hand, is tasked to work to maintain peace, justice, democracy, national unity, consensus and reconciliation among the Ethiopian peoples.

On Thursday, government has leaders for the two commissions approved by the parliament despite some MPs protest.

Prior to the approval of the leaders, an MP said both the role of establishing the commission and appointing commissioners “are against to the constitution”.

“The proclamations (that set up the commissions) should be void, and I don’t think we should approve these nominees,” he added.

Government whip Mesfin Cherinet, however, these issue has been resolved by majority votes when the bills approved.

He then requested the house to vote on the motions.

Accordingly, the Parliament approved the appointment of Dr Tassew Gebre and Ustaz Abubeker Ahmed as Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Administrative Boundaries and Identity Issues Commission, respectively, in a majority vote.

But a significant number of MPs – 25 – voted against.

MPs have also endorsed the appointment of Cardinal Berhaneyesus Surafel and Yetnebereshi Nigussie as commissioner and deputy commissioner for reconciliation commission, respectively, in a majority vote with four against and 10 abstentions.

In February, MPs approved members for the reconciliation commission with aim to create peace and mutual co-existence among the people.

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