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Ethnic federalism and conflict in Ethiopia

Bekalu Atnafu Taye


The current regime in Ethiopia adopted ethnic federalism and redesigned the country along ethnic lines as soon as it took political power in 1991. The aim of this article is to examine the prevalence of ethnic conflict in Ethiopia and to evaluate the potential causes of the conflicts that followed in the past twenty-five years. There are competing claims, for and against federalism. And though it may be accurate to state that the founding principles of federalism have few ideological shortcomings, it may be that technicality issues (types and forms) may hamper the imposed federal system in Ethiopian. Thus, ethnic conflicts prevailing in Ethiopia may be caused by such technicality problems and the ethnic federal arrangement in Ethiopia needs an urgent reconsideration before the case moves to the worst scenario.

Keywords: conflict, ethnic, Ethiopia, federalism, EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front), politics

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eISSN: 2309-737X
print ISSN: 1562-6997