Researchers urge for caution while the recently established administrative boundaries and identity commission doing its job.

This month, Ethiopia has established a commission in charge of administrative boundaries and identity, claiming that it brings lasting solution to such claims.

The establishment of the commission is part of the ongoing sweeping reform that aimed to bring political, economic and social change in the Horn African nation.

Aman Umer and Amdegebreil Admassu, constitutional researchers told ENA that the establishment of the commission is unquestionably essential to bring a lasting solution to many unsolved problems.

However, the commission could only be effective if it is allowed to do its job free from political intervention and bias, the researchers say.

Amdegebreil Admassu a constitutional researcher at the Council of Constitutional Inquiry believes that it was common for officials to influence decisions in their favor.

He said “even some of the referendums with regard to boundary and identity issues that took place in the country were not convincing enough.”

In order to change this reality and bring lasting solution Amdegebreil said “the commission should adhere to the constitution and study the real needs and interests of the nation as well as the public.”

 “If there will be any possibilities where politicians can impose pressure … or we appoint former authorities who fail to resolve the problem, there will be no expectation of resolving the situation” he said.

Noting that grievances would lead people to violence, Amdegebreil said “Leaders and authorities should stand for the interest of the public, national unity, if not, anyone who is oppressed today might someday claim and even grab arms to fight.” 

Previously, administrative boundaries and identity issues were treated ordinarily, which forced the government to establish the commission in order to address the problems, Aman Umer another researcher from the Council told ENA.

Aman said no lasting solutions will be expected from the commission, unless it frees itself from any pressures that could be imposed by politicians or other groups.

Noting that the task that the commission is expected to handle is huge, such entities should exist at all levels, in order to accomplish its goals.

 “I don’t think establishment of one commission is adequate enough whereas if commissions are similarly set at regional level and working in unison will bring transparency and trustworthiness as it directly involves regional and federal bodies,” Aman said.

The House of People’s Representatives approved the draft bill for the establishment of the commission on 20 December 2018 with aim of addressing challenges that the nation has faced.

The Commission is expected to study problems and claims related to administrative boundary demarcation and issues of identity and provide alternative recommendations to the House of the Federation and the Prime Minister. (ENA)