Ethiopian Leaders Propose Truth and Reconciliation Commission
November 16, 2018 - Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's Council of Ministers has disclosed that it has drafted a bill for the establishment of National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, according to information from the Office of the Prime Minister. The draft bill has been sent to the House of People's Representatives for approval.
According to the office of the Prime Minister, the draft bill is meant to address people's grievances on two decades and half rule of the EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front).
The proposed commission is probably something similar to what South Africa had after the Apartheid rule, and what Rwanda had after a tragic genocide.
Based on online media reports, while many Ethiopians applaud the proposed measure, others see a little parallel with precedents and whether this will actually lead to greater unity and democracy in Ethiopia.
The Council of Ministers' bill is intended to cover aspects of power abuse, corruption and various national- and ethnic-based grievances from many corners of Ethiopia.
Since the current leaders of Ethiopia are also from the EPRDF, and have been in various positions of power for some time, it is unknown whether the measure will cover all parts of the EPRDF in depth or mostly dwell on the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
To many, the obvious culprit is the TPLF, which has been the dominant wing of the EPRDF and is now out of power and influence.
If the ongoing campaign against corruption and power abuse is of any indication, the TPLF will likely be the recipient of a far larger proportion of the investigation than others.
The council of ministers has also recommended the establishment of Identity and Boundary Commission to resolve boundary and identity disputes across the country.
Over the last five years or so, numerous tensions and clashes have flared up in parts of the country over claims and counter claims of boundary areas and identity questions.
There is a long-standing dispute between Oromia and Somali regions over land and people, which, in the past, resulted in several deadly clashes and the dislocation of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Southern Ethiopia region saw demands for separate state-hood from Sidama community, which also led to multiple clashes, especially early this year.
The Amhara region has claims over areas currently controlled by Tigray, specifically the Wolkite and Raya areas.
Multiple deadly clashes have also been reported between Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions, one that resulted in the massive dislocation of people from their areas.
Many in Amhara region are also believed to harbor claims against the Oromia state over pockets of land in different areas.
It is unknown if the proposed commissions will genuinely address these numerous disputes and grievances to the satisfaction of the different groups and regions, and unify Ethiopia, or mostly used as a tool to solidify power by one group or the other and perpetuate the main issue Ethiopia is facing today: the much stronger ethnic-based politics.