Ethiopia: PM Dismisses Agenda Over Ownership of Addis Ababa As Defective

Addis Ababa — The people who entertain the agenda of ownership of Addis Ababa to a given group of people have no legitimate ground for their claims, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, he rebuked those who purposefully "set the agenda to force us spend our time on undesirable issues."

"Addis Ababa belongs to all Ethiopians," the premier stressed, adding that "if I say (the city) is mine while denying the claim of others, I am wrong! Otherwise, the sense of belongings to the city has no problem by itself."

According to him, there had been two antagonistic views at a time when federalism was introduced. One view contended that Addis Ababa should be part of Oromia Regional State since it is geographically located in it.

The other group, on the other hand, pointed out that it should be the capital of the federal government administered by its own charter, but consider the special interest of Oromia Region, he indicated.

This view has been incorporated in the Constitution.

The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, article 49(1) states that Addis Ababa shall be the capital city of the Federal State, and sub-article (2) points out that the residents of Addis Ababa shall have a full measure of self-government.

Article 49 (5) further stipulates that the special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Ababa, regarding the provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources and other similar matters as well as joint administrative matters arising from the location of Addis Ababa within the State of Oromia, shall be respected. Particulars shall be determined by law.

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