By Emmanuel Igunza | for BBC Africa,,
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education has apologized for “honest” mistakes contained in school textbooks, state-owned television has reported.
The ministry had revealed that several text books published between 2004 and 2010 had wrongly defined boundaries of the country’s regional states.
The sixth grade English language textbook wrongly placed Ethiopia’s highest mountain, Ras Dashen, in Tigray Regional State instead of the Amhara Regional State, it quotes an unidentified ministry official as saying.
The official added that a map in a tenth grade textbook on nationality and ethics failed to show the correct location of regional states, the report added.
The sixth grade text book was published in 2004 and the tenth grade book in 2010.
Opposition activists simply dismissed the government apology saying the alterations were deliberate and a continued attempt by the ruling coalition to distort the country’s history.
It is unclear why the ministry has made the apology now, but Amhara has been one of the regions recently rocked by deadly protests against the government.
It is not clear however if the books will be withdrawn.
The admission comes at a time when the country is facing a wave of protests over boundary disputes in the Oromia and Amhara states, which are the two largest in the country.
In July, protests erupted in the north-west over the failure by the government to move Wollkait administrative district from Tigray to Amhara state.
Human rights groups say more than 500 people have so far died since protests began last November.
There have been lots of reaction on Twitter to the apology.
የመሬት ስርቆት ሱስ?!
*መንግሥት ለ10 ዓመታት በመማሪያ መጻሕፍት ላይ የአማራ ክልልን መሬት ካርታ ላይ ወደ ትግራይ፣ ራስ ደጀን ተራራን በትግራይ የሚገኝ አድርጎ በማተም… https://t.co/2qZZHZDubz
— ESAT (@ESATtv) September 17, 2016
Unbelievable!! A country run by a party filled with idiots. According to #EPRDF's #Ethiopia, Ras Dashen is in Tigray pic.twitter.com/07pzcGyocL
— Fisseha Tegegn (@Fisseha_Tegegn) September 16, 2016