By SisaySahlu

Members of parliament ratified on Tuesday a bill that allows Prime Minster Abiy’s administration to set up a national reconciliation commission.

The commission will work to create peace and mutual co-existence among the people of Ethiopia, once it’s established.

The bill –presented by the foreign and peace affairs standing committee of the lower house of the parliament – was the only document tabled for Tuesday’s regular session.

The legislators’ spend most of their time debating on the need of the commission. 

Chairperson of the committee TesfayeDhaba said the formation of the commission is part of government’s effort “to heal the wounds left” by the decades’ long social and political and economic conflicts in the country.

It will also work to bring “about genuine reconciliation” in Ethiopia, he added.

One MP questioned the necessity of the bill or the commission.

“Most of the conflicts that happened or happening in Ethiopia are occurred or occurring due to works of few political and economic elites, who are biased to their internal interest,” the MP said.

Another one explained he would rather see much effort be exerted on creating independent institutes such as Police and courts, that the commission. 

Another one suggested the effort of any reconciliation should start from the parliament “before taking to the country at large”. 

The committee, however, said the Commission will help the country to maintain peace, justice, national unity and consensus and “will only have three years life span”.

Among other responsibilities, the Commission will be tasked to make investigation to identify the basic reasons of disputes and violations of human right in its bid to achieve its objective.

It is also expected to identify principles and values which will be a base for national reconciliation by making discussion with groups of society which have different view, the bill reads.

“We are pinning our hope on this to create sustainable peace among the people of Ethiopia,” Tesfaye said.

The bill was eventually approved with a majority 312 votes. One MP voted against while another chose to abstain.

During the session, government advised to be cautious while forming the commission.

“We have to be careful in making it free of political interference and outside meddling in its endeavor to reconcile people who are once in conflict or umbrage,” he said. (daily Monitor)