Information about the 2009 ‘Council of Ministers Directive to Enable Eritreans Deported from Ethiopia due to the Ethio-Eritrea War to Reclaim and Develop Their Properties in Ethiopia’

Published: 12/Nov/2012
Source: John R Campbell

By John Campbell

In late 2009 I wrote to Prime Minister Meles asking for information on the 2009 Directive which was the subject of considerable speculation. On December 2nd I received a reply from Berhanu Kebede, Ethiopian ambassador to the UK which contained an Amharic version of the Directive and an unofficial English translation (both appended to this note). Because the embassy was not able to provide further information about the Directive, including whether anyone had been allowed to return to Ethiopia to reclaim their property, I travelled to Addis Ababa in April 2010 to interview a Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is responsible for administering the Directive. The Director General told me that relevant forms for making an application to reclaim property had been given to embassies and consulates who were responsible for processing the claims and returning them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa. Once a claim is returned to the Ministry it is sent to the relevant state where the individual claims to own property and to the Bank to verify the claim. A Ministerial Committee then reviews and decides on the application.

The three applications forms (in Amharic) given to me are appended to this note and are for:

  • Individual Eritreans living outside Ethiopia to make a claim;
  • The ‘agents’ of deported Eritreans to make a claim on behalf of an Eritrean; and
  • ‘Successors’ – e.g. the children or those who succeed or inherit – of a deported Eritrean to make a claim.

I was told that the Directive and the forms would be put onto the website of Ethiopian embassies and consulates but this has not happened. Following the death of Meles Zenawi I have decided to post the information to relevant websites in the hope that the information may assist individuals to reclaim their property in Ethiopia.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Ethiopia
Year: 2012