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“Border demarcation not our responsibility,” Electoral Board tells Somali Region


By Siyanne Mekonnen
March 26, 2021

Birtukan Mideksa, Chairwoman of the NEBE. Picture: NEBE Archive

The National Electoral Board (NEBE) issued a letter in response to the letter sent to the board by the Somali regional state regarding the board’s decision to call off polling stations in eight kebeles. The Somali regional state requested the board to reverse the decision and said that it would find it hard to partake in the upcoming election. The board described its reason for the decision as “a responsibility to maintain peace and ensure the rights of people who live in the disputed areas to vote at nearby polling stations.”

The Somali regional administration expressed its disapproval of the decision by the NEBE to call off 30 polling stations listed in eight Kebeles under the Somali regional state. The letter signed by the president of Somali regional state accused the board of making a one sided decision by giving in to pressures by the Afar regional state. The board stated that its decision to call off the polling stations came after a complaint filed by the Afar Regional State saying that the polling stations should have instead been listed under its administration.

According to the letter, the board learned that these areas are prone to conflict based on the recommendations by the federal election security task force. “The conflict risk map that helps the board identify to prevent election related conflicts also backs up these findings.” the statement read, “Setting up polling stations in these areas knowing of the controversy surrounding border issues would amount to failing to uphold the board’s responsibility to ensure a peaceful election.”

The board stressed that the decision has nothing to do with demarcation of borders in favor of neither of the regional states. The board explained that polling stations do not symbolize jurisdiction and that the board doesn’t have the mandate to demarcate borders. In the letter addressed to the office of the Somali Regional State President, the board reiterated that polling stations should not result in a controversy between regional governments by reminding the board’s authority granted to it in accordance with election proclamation to decide where and how to set up polling stations.

The letter concluded by commenting on the statement by the Somali regional administration  that said it would find it hard to participate in the upcoming election if the board doesn’t revoke its decisions to call off the polling stations. “The remarks are meaningless as it is obvious that parties and their candidates who participate in the election, not the regional government.”



  1. It is my honest opinion that these two regions, Afar and Somali regions are now led by matured officials able to sort it all out without any outside help. Our patriot daughter/sister H.E. Birtukan bint Mideksa is absolutely right. Demarcation or solving border disputes is not a job she or the election board she is managing mandated by the constitution. What the leaders of these regions should do is behave like grownups and have a productive sit-down to solve the issue. Their ancestors had been doing it for centuries. Getting on raw emotions won’t serve the urgent needs of their people. They have extremely thoughtful people among their leadership. Areal demography changes the whole time throughout mankind’s history. They need to get off this stupid and will-take-you-nowhere crude self-centered ‘nationalism’ and bring and sustain peace for their upright citizens. My faith in the leaders of both regions is very strong. I hope they will not let me and their fellow citizens down.

  2. Tio zenegnaw etobiyawi an farad and all those support Abiy disregard the massacre of amhara let lone people of Tigray, Kimant, Agew, Shinasha

    አንተ ደደብ ዝንንተዉ ጢቢያዊ የአማራ መሞት ጥቂትም ንካ አያሳስብሁም የጌታሂን የአብይን እድሜ ለማራዘም ከመጠመድ በቀር
    በትግራይ የሚያልቀዉ ሕዝብ(ሕፃን፥ወጣት፤ሽማግሌ )ትንሽም እንኳን ርህራሄ የላቹህም የወር ደሞዛቹ የሰዉን ሕይወት ክቡርነት ያስረሳል ልበል፥አቢይ የተሾመ ለታ ነፍሳቹ አስቀድሞ ተገልጦላት ጮቤ ረገጠች ፥የአመፅ ዘር ስለሆነች ሕፃናትንና ሴቶችን በመግደል በማስገደል ግድያዉንም አይሰጡ ስም ሰጥቶ በማበረታታት በመደገፍ የበለፀገች ነፍስ ፥የእናንተ ሀይማኖትን የዘር ፋጅትን እንደአስፈላጊነቱ በሌላ ወገን ላይ እንዲፈፀም ይፈቅዳል፥ለናንተ የሰዉ ልክ አማራ ነዉ፥ከእህል፥ስንዴ ከሰዉ እንደ አማራ ያለ ምርጥ በጭራች አይገኝም፥ማፈላለጉ በራሱ በአጤ ምኒሊክ ሕግ ያስቀጣል ግብዞች የአስተሳሰባችሁን ከንቱነት የአዕምሯቹ እከይን የምለካበት ጣራ ዉሃ ልክ አጣን ፥ቋንቋችንና ሀገራችንን በተዉሶ ልትጠቀሙበት ሰጥተናቹ አረከሳቹሁት አማርኛ ከሌሎች ቋንቋዎች በበለጠ ብዙ አፀያፊ ቃላት አሉት ምድሪቱ በናንተ ረከሰች ወያኔ አማራ ቢሆኑኖሮ ቄሶቻቹ ድርሳን በደረሱላቸዉ ነበር ፥ምኒሊክ ፈረስ ሰርቆ ሰልፊ ለመነሳት አቢይ በወታደራዊ ልብስ እንዲሁ፥።።።አቢይ ትግራዋይ ስላልሆነ የፈፀመዉ የዘር ፍጅት እንደ ሰም ቀልጦ ይጠፋለታል ቄሶቻቹ በዕፅዋታት ደጋግመዉ ያነፁታል አንድ የናንተዉ ካድሬ እንደ ዳንኤል ዉርደትያሉት ችግር የለም ፀሎቱን ባንድ እግራችን ቆመን እናደርሰዋለን ብቻ መባዉን ገንዘቡን ስደዱት የወያኔ ግፍ ሞልቶ ከተፈ ከሰማይ መላክታት አምላክ ይልክልናል ፦ግብዞች የሰይጣን የቁርጥ ልጆች አብይን የምትደግፍ ሁላ እስላም ይሁን ክርስቲያን ነኝ በፈጣሪ አምናለሁ የማለት ሞራል የለህም፥ሐቅን ይዛቹ ቢሆን ኑሮ ሁላችንም ከናንተዉ ጋር በተሰለፍን ነበር አሁን ላይ ሆነን የምናየዉ ኢትዮጵያ የናንተዉ መደበቂያ፥የፖለቲካ ጥቅማቹህን ለመጠበቅ ለማስጠበቅ የምትሸሸጉባት የወንበዴዎች ዋሻ ናት፥እንደ ከለላ የምትጠቀሙባት ጉረኖ የአህያዎች ጋጣ፥

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