Source: Quartz Africa
By Abdi Latif Dahir
Ethiopia’s government has announced it will issue identity cards to members of the Rastafarian community, a religious group that has long been seen as stateless in the horn of Africa nation. The foreign ministry said that the ID cards will grant Rastafarians residency and most legal rights in the country, but will still not make them citizens, AFP reports.
Estimates of the number of Rastafarians in Ethiopia range from hundreds to 1,000, and they reside mostly in the capital Addis Ababa or in Shashamane, a town 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the capital. Adherents of the religion mostly migrated from the Caribbean in the 1950s, after Ethiopia’s former emperor Haile Selassie—who was seen as a messiah by Rastafarians—bequeathed hundreds of hectares of land to them.