Establishment of a reconciliation commission in Ethiopia

A new bill to establish a reconciliation commission was ratified by the upper house of the Ethiopian Parliament on Tuesday. The establishment of the commission appears to be the latest effort, by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to deal with recurrent ethnic clashes and polarization among Ethiopians.

The divisions created by years of social and political friction require reconciliation based on the ideals of truth and justice, says the House of Representatives of the Ethiopian People by approving a bill to create a commission.

The mission of the Reconciliation Commission, which reports directly to the Prime Minister, is to provide victims of human rights violations with a forum and an attentive ear to be heard. It will also conduct investigations to identify human rights violations as cases continue to be reported, particularly against former political prisoners in recent years.

Some former members of the national intelligence service are already in custody and face trial. Less than a week has passed since the House ratified the controversial Electoral Boundaries Commission to study and advise on identity and border disputes between regional governments.

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