Ethiopia digital ID prompts fears of ethnic profiling

Published: 1/Fév/2023
Source: Reuters

Zecharias Zelalem

The rollout of digital ID Fayda in Ethiopia could entrench discrimination against Tigrayans and other ethnic minorities, rights groups fear

  • Ethiopia introduces digital ID to improve access to services
  • Tigrayans fear the data may be used to discriminate against them
  • World Bank should not roll out ID during a conflict, rights experts say

Birhanu Degefa was visiting family in the Ethiopian city of Shire in November, when soldiers suddenly began rounding up men on the street, accusing them of being rebels, and demanding to see their identity papers.

War had just broken out in the northern region between Tigrayan rebels and government forces, and Tigrayans like Birhanu were at high risk of being profiled and arrested, or worse.

« They let me go after I showed them an Addis Ababa city identity card and claimed that I wasn’t Tigrayan, » said Birhanu, 33, who fled Shire when fighting intensified, and returned to London where he lives.

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Themes: Discrimination, Cartes d’identité et passeports, Citoyenneté interne, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Ethiopie
Year: 2023