The parliament in Ethiopia has approved a controversial bill setting up a commission to resolve border and ethnic conflicts among regional administrations.

Thirty-three parliamentarians voted against the bill calling it unconstitutional, with four abstaining, but a majority endorsed the bill setting up the Administrative Boundaries and Identity Issues Commission.

The Commission will report to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. It has powers to investigate border and identity disputes and to report same to parliament offering solutions on how to tackle any such challenges.

Many decades of on-and-off ethnic conflicts and border disputes have left nearly 1.5 million people internally displaced.

Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament has a mandate to handle ethnic and identity issues.

[Ethiopian woman and her child, some of the most vulnerable victims of ethnic and border conflicts. Photo, courtesy of the IMF website]

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