The Quest for Resolution of Guji-Gedeo Conflicts in Southern Ethiopia: A Review of Mechanisms Employed, Actors and Their Effectiveness
This article assesses the quest for resolution of Guji-Gedeo conflicts, the federal device as a means of managing conflict employed and their effectiveness. Methodologically, the study is mainly based on qualitative approach with an opinion and descriptive surveys to reveal the existing problems. It emerges from the study that the different structures, processes and mechanisms, which are employed at various levels of administrative hierarchies of governments for managing the conflicts, remain ad-hoc, not well-coordinated and, above all, their actions are mainly reactive. The study draws an argumentative conclusion that the Federal Government and authorities of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) and Oromiya Regional State need to boost their close cooperation, engagement in early warning and conflict management endeavors in addressing the conflict as the two communities are still at loggerheads over the issue of defining the contested boundary claims. It is also useful to extend the scope of such cooperation and engagement to the level of local governments in both Regional States. Along with these efforts, it would be better if authorities at various levels revitalize and empower traditional conflict resolution institutions to run parallel with ‘modern’ government structures to respond to the conflicts promptly. It is thus prudent to use the advantage of federalism as flexible and innovative system of governance to manage the conflict constructively.
Keywords: Boundary conflicts, ethnicity, ethnic federation, federal restructuring, Guji-Gedeo conflicts, indigenous institutions.
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