After two days of protest earlier this week, the federal government of Ethiopia has officially responded to the voice of protesters.
The office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Saturday issued a statement that named a committee to resolve administrative boundary issues between Oromia regional state and the capital, Addis Ababa.
The federal government is represented on the 8-member committee by Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil. Addis Ababa deputy mayor Takele Uma Banti is also listed as are three other members of the city administration.
The Oromia region also has three representatives on the committee including the deputy regional president, Tayiba Hassen, and two other top officials.
The protests were sparked by the decision of the mayor to allocate condominium houses built by the city administration at a time when questions remained over the exact boundaries of Addis Ababa which is located in Oromia.
The PM’s statement also conceded that committees and bodies have in the past been tasked to resolve the issue but it was expected that this committee will reach a lasting and durable solution over the issue.
Addis Ababa, the national capital and seat of the federal government, is located in the Oromia region but is one of two chartered cities in the country. The other one is Dire Dawa. Oromos have long claimed the capital which is referred to in local parlance as Finfeenne.
Abiy is leader of the ruling party in the region, the Oromo Democratic Party, ODP, his deputy Lemma Megerssa is however president of the region.