Does the current political reform in Ethiopia require amendments of the nationality law on foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin?
Source: Satenaw News
Endalew L. Enyew (PhD Candidate)
UiT-The Arctic University of Norway
Ethiopia is currently undergoing significant political reforms. It has been negotiating to restore the peaceful relation with Eritrea. It established a 13 member legal and justice affairs advisory council mandated to provide amendment proposals to certain laws, including the constitution, the anti-terrorism proclamation, the civil society proclamation and other legislations considered to be restrictive. Similarly, PM Dr. Abiy and leaders of regional States have recently made frequent calls to the Ethiopian diaspora, more than any time before, to create synergy and actively engage in the development of the country. These political developments, among others, necessitate to revisit the existing nationality law that applies to foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin. This short essay examines the current scheme available to foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin. The aim is twofold. First, to provide some clarifications to the Ethiopian diaspora about the existing legal space that enable their participation in the country’s affairs; and second to identify the limitations of the current approach and inform the relevant law reform bodies with respect to some issues that need amendment.