This paper examined the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission establishment proclamation with a view to assessing the Commission’s probable effectiveness to attain its short, medium and long-term goals as a transitional justice accountability measure. For the purpose of critical appraisal, different factors which appear in the literature to be crucial to the effectiveness of truth commissions such as selection, appointment, removal and composition of commissioners, overall mandate given to commission, adequate financial resources and staff capacity, ensuring security and cooperation from the incumbent government, public engagement in course of investigation, report and recommendation and political will were used as comparable variables. Through a critical analysis, this paper has revealed that the Commission has the following strong dimensions that could contribute to its effectiveness, namely, a solid institutional set-up, a budget source, powers and duties endowed, security guarantee and cooperation from the incumbent government and its opportunities to engage the public in its work. Moreover, it has further pinpointed and analysed different drawbacks related to selection, appointment, removal and composition of commissioners, accountability structure and lack of clarity in its mandates including the period to be covered under investigation and final report dissemination strategy that could definitely affect the Commission’s effectiveness. Finally, despite its imperfections, the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission could be workable as a transitional justice accountability measure. However, sustained political will and commitment is indispensable to capitalizing on the strengths and rectifying the weaknesses of the Commission to ensure its ultimate effectiveness.
Key words: Transitional justice, truth commission, truth, peace, reconciliation, Ethiopia.