Ethnicity, democratisation and decentralization in ethiopia 85 while using naked force to suppress the same demands on the other. Nationalism, nationality and regionalism in ethiopia c. Lakew phd politics of ethnicity is a primordial thinking and mode of existence but in contemporary society it is a disguised pseudo political movement that has no social basis in its origin but designed purposely to emotionally manipulate and drive members to be sensational loyal fighters, nonreasoning and thinking human beings, to the movement, in order few canny power. The politics of ethnicity in ethiopia democracy in africa. On 23 november 2019, the sidama zone became the 10th regional state in ethiopia after a zonewide referendum. The planned 2004 census has unfortunately been postponed. Federalism is often cited as the most effective way to manage ethnic tensions because it promises to give communities a degree of selfgovernment and it means. The ruling coalition in ethiopia, which has been on power for over two decades, has three ethnic and one region based political parties, namely from tigre, amhara, oromo ethic groups and a party representing the southern part of the country with over 40 ethnic groups. He writes on the issues behind several months of protests by ethiopias largest ethnic group, the oromos. Media in category politics of ethiopia the following 11 files are in this category, out of 11 total.
For a specific analysis of the population of ethiopia, see demographics of ethiopia. Methodologically, the study was an empirical analysis of nature and dynamics of conflicts under ethnic federal system and politicized ethnicity in ethiopia since 1991. The politics of ethnic identity and conflicts under ethnic. This expression captures the essence of what constitutes social order in tigray and the ancient highlands of abyssinia individuals relatio. Although ethiopias official language is amharic, there are a. This multiplicity in language, religion, culture, tradition and the overall identity is actually a beauty for the country considering the fact that the peoples of ethiopia have had the culture of living together without any narrowly and shallowlyfocused ethnic belongingness. Allo is lse fellow in human rights at the centre for the study of human rights. So far, ethiopia has conducted two decennial national censusesin 1984 and again in 1994. In 1991, politicians divided the countrys population nearly 50 million people at the time. The one prominent exception is ethiopia, which since 1991 has imposed a system of ethnic based federalism that offers each ethnic group the right of selfdetermination. More recently in 1988 his much acclaimed work revolutionary ethiopia was published by the cambridge university press. Most governments in africa, seeing the political mobilisation of ethnicity as a threat, have rejected the use of ethnic differences as an explicit basis for political representation. Actors, power and mobiliza tion under ethnic federalism, is made up of a laconic. Professor christopher clapham whose studies of ethiopian politics began in the early 1960s was the author of haile selassies government.
From the north to the south, the range in types of social system, dress, diet and languages far exceeds that to be found elsewhere in the world. The one prominent exception is ethiopia, which since 1991 has imposed a system of ethnicbased federalism that offers each ethnic group the right of selfdetermination. Percentage distribution of population of ethiopia by pedoman praktis bermain bulutangkis pdf broad age. Download the podcast of lovise aalens talk on the politics of ethnicity in ethiopia. They speak the sidamo language, which is a language of the cushitic branch of. Over the past two years, ethiopia has experienced both rapid political liberalisation. Ethnic federalism in ethiopia offered the prospect of a shift away from the high modernism of that states past projects to develop its people, apparently in favour of the collective perspectives of groups of its citizens. It traces its origin to the kingdoms that emerged in the northern highlands in the fourth century. Their language is called sidaamuafoo, which according to the 1994 national census was the mother language of 99. That is mainly why we do not see any promising development both from ethiopia and abroad. The country enjoys diverse cultures such as world famous cuisines, woven cotton costume. Democracy and the politics of ethnicity walle engedayehu after more than a decade and a half of devastating civil war, a dramatic turn of events took place in ethiopia in may 1991, culminating in the ouster of former marxist leader mengistu. The ruling party should encourage wide open forums in the universities to revisit the current federal structure of ethiopia and allow debates of pros and cons pertaining to ethnic federation.
Ethiopia ruling coalition to merge with affiliate parties. Ethiopians are ethnically diverse, with the most important differences on the basis of linguistic categorization. Actors, power and mobilization under ethnic federalism, e. The ethiopian peoples revolutionary democratic front eprdf, led by its chairman and prime minister, meles zenawi, has radically reformed ethiopias political system. The politics of ethnicity in ethiopia african social studies. Actors, power and mobilization under ethnic federalism. Aug 04, 2015 politics in ethiopia becomes heavily centralized on ethnicity rather than on shared concerns such as democracy, development, justice, human rights, etc. Conversations about change cease to center on shared concern like justice, human rights and democracy and turn to. Ayichew abstract ethiopia is a multiethnic nation with cultural differences between its component ethnic groups.
Ethnicity, democratisation and decentralization in. Moreover, no one benefits from this disintegration than those who are interested in maintaining the status quo, mainly the ruling regime. The land is our father, the enemy our brother, tig. Jun 22, 2011 most governments in africa, seeing the political mobilisation of ethnicity as a threat, have rejected the use of ethnic differences as an explicit basis for political representation. The course includes theoretical and multicountry studies of ethnic politics and also includes indepth case studies of nigeria, the united states, southern africa, india, and sudan. Executive power is exercised by the government while legislative power is vested in the parliament. Lets talk about ethnicity and nationalism in ethiopia. This article or section possibly contains synthesis of material which does not verifiably mention or relate to the main topic. Abate mammo, a demographer, deflated the false sense of demographic reality in his article, population distribution in ethiopia. Ethiopia is a subsaharan country found in the horn of africa.
Since the transitional government of ethiopia came to office in may 1991, a number of steps have been taken and policy instruments formulated first to rehabilitate the shattered social and economic infrastructure and secondly to lay down a strong foundation for sustainable development in the years ahead. He writes on the issues behind several months of protests by ethiopia s largest ethnic group, the oromos. Despite being africas oldest independent country, ethiopia is one of africas poorest states, better known for its periodic droughts, famines, and intermittent civil conflicts. By way of concluding this essay, i like to go back to the politics of ethnicity and suggest the following immediate tasks to be met by the eprdf. This paper discusses the contending political ideologies in ethiopia after 1991, i. Prime minister abiy ahmed of ethiopia warns opposition political parties who called for the establishment politics eritrean president isaias concludes ethiopia visit. Ethiopia is much more than the sum of all the political parties and ethnic groups. The politics of ethnicity in ethiopia african social. The study used multiple methods of data collection. Politics related to ethiopia has become so heavily ethnicized that we have a difficult time distinguishing between ideology and identity.
Ethiopia is a mosaic of about 100 languages that can be classified into four groups. Ethnic tensions in gondar reflect the toxic nature of ethiopian politics from uneven development to authoritarian government, the morass of. Actors, power and mobiliza tion under ethnic federalism, is made up of a laconic preface, eight. Although ethiopia is not new to ethnic based conflicts, their scale and. Ethiopia must abandon ethnic politics or it will explode. Images of war, narratives of suffering and notions of ethnicity are intrinsically linked to western perceptions of africa. The regime transformed the hitherto centralised state into the federal democratic republic and also redefined citizenship, politics and identity on ethnic grounds. Nov 09, 2012 ethnicity and ethnic politics in ethiopia by seble teweldebirhan addis ababa, november 9, 2012 nowadays, when someone tries to be less sensitive about ethnicity, heshe is considered unsympathetic to the rights of marginalized groups and their rightful issues.
Ethnic politics and its effect on democracy in ethiopia by. Lakew phd politics of ethnicity is a primordial thinking and mode of existence but in contemporary society it is a disguised pseudo political movement that has no social basis in its origin but designed purposely to emotionally manipulate and drive members to be sensational loyal fighters, nonreasoning and thinking human beings, to the movement, in order few canny. Mar 29, 20 that is mainly why we do not see any promising development both from ethiopia and abroad. With an estimated population of more than 85,000,000, ethiopia is africas second most populous country. Democracy and the politics of ethnicity walle engedayehu after more than a decade and a half of devastating civil war, a dramatic turn of events took place in ethiopia in may 1991, culminating in the ouster of former marxist leader mengistu haile mariam and his dergdominated regime. In the local power politics, ethnicity plays a central.
Jul 18, 2019 ethiopia is home to a number of ethnic groups. Here, a point that should not be missed in any intellectual venture to understand ethnicity is the paradox that. The view from below and from the south, east, and west. That countrys major civil wars were between the central government, which was seen to have been dominated by the amhara people, and various insurgency groups bearing the names of ethnic groups such as the oromo, tigre, afar, ogaden, and beni. In a press conference, the semayawi party blue party, ethiopian democratic party edp, patriotic ginbot 7, and unity party up said they are forming a new party. Ethnic federalism and its discontents crisis group africa report n153, 4 september 2009 page 2 ii. Drivers of ethnic conflict in contemporary ethiopia. Politics prime minister abiy of ethiopia warns opposition parties. Jawar tends to view ethiopia s politics and history as a field of ethnic contestation and hence prefers a system where political representation is organized along ethnic lines. Here, a point that should not be missed in any intellectual venture to understand ethnicity is the paradox that surrounds identity politics.
Such a discussion is of paramount importance if one aims to understand contemporary ethiopian politics and controversies and at the same time situate oneself within. It has been suggested that list of ethnic groups in ethiopia be merged into this article. Ethiopia is a multiethnic nation with cultural differences between its component ethnic groups. In fact, in ethiopia in general and in the amhara region in particular, the politics of identity is defined on an ethnic basis aalen, 2011. May 16, 2012 the politics of ethnicity in ethiopia.
The judiciary is more or less independent of the executive and the legislature. So the preliminary question one should raise at this point is why the ethiopian state, as opposed to the society, remained unitarist, as opposed to pluralist, for so titled after donald n. Most of its people speak an ethiosemitic or cushitic language which are both part of the afroasiatic language family, while others speak nilosaharan languages. Four ethiopia wide political parties agree to merge january 1, 2019 four ethiopia wide political parties have agreed to merge and form one citizenbased party. The one prominent exception is ethiopia, which since 1991 has imposed a system of ethnicbased federalism that offers each ethnic group the right of self. A balance sheet of post1991 ethnically based federalism the political transition in ethiopia in 1991 came at a time when there were high hopes among africans, civilsociety organizations, the international community and scholars for processes of democratisation. Ethnic federalism and its discontents crisis group. Conversations about change cease to center on shared concern like justice, human rights and democracy and turn to disputes over ethnicity. Political tensions date back to the formation of ethiopias unique brand of ethnic federalism. The course includes theoretical and multicountry studies of ethnic politics and also includes in depth case studies of nigeria, the united states, southern africa, india, and sudan. Ethnicity, democratisation and decentralization in ethiopia. This chapter aims at providing a general background about the politics of. Jul 23, 20 ethnicity, democratisation and decentralization in ethiopia 85 while using naked force to suppress the same demands on the other. Filtered through the medium of a limited number of sources mostly international reporters unfamiliar with the local context, or foreign diplomats aloof from everyday politics and sufferings in the country in which they serve the information and pictures of.
Actors, power and mobilisation under ethnic federalism to the african studies seminar at oxford university below. Ethiopias population is highly diverse with different languages and ethnic groups. The imperial period 1974 ethiopia is the only african state never colonised by a foreign power. The adoption of ethnic federalism in ethiopia was closely related with the problem of creating a state structure that could be used as instrument of managing the complex ethnolinguistic diversity of the country. The government of ethiopia is structured in the form of a federal parliamentary republic, whereby the prime minister is the head of government. According to a 20 world bank report, ethiopia had a population of roughly 94. In ethiopia, the federal constitution stipulates that the members of the first chamber, the house of peoples representatives, are the representatives of the ethiopian people as a whole. Ethiopia is a multinational country with about 85 ethnolinguistic groups and since. Ethnicity and ethnic politics in ethiopia by seble teweldebirhan addis ababa, november 9, 2012 nowadays, when someone tries to be less sensitive about ethnicity, heshe is considered unsympathetic to the rights of. Critique and reflection on eprdfs policies and practices. Dec 22, 2016 ethnic tensions in gondar reflect the toxic nature of ethiopian politics from uneven development to authoritarian government, the morass of issues facing the city of gondar offer a snapshot of. Ethiopia country report ethiopia is a landlocked country located in east africa, and is bordered by eritrea, djibouti, somalia, kenya and sudan. Ethnicity must steer toward unity and reciprocity to be consistent and empowering.
As indicated earlier, in ethiopia ethnicity has been identified by many as a major cause of conflict. Ethnic politics and the cracks in the dry ground of the tplf. The vast majority of languages belong to the semitic, cushitic, or omotic groups, all part of the afroasiatic language family. This book examines the impact of the federal restructuring of ethiopia on ethnic conflicts. Nobody can rule ethiopia for long on the basis of ethnic agenda. Ethiopia is one of ethnically diverse nations in the world. Now that the ethnic federal experiment is more than a decade old, it is possible to make a tentative evaluation of its performance.157 1460 261 1012 1523 1081 1102 900 1030 118 1392 1010 1343 643 1305 326 226 1088 761 454 1526 1432 1509 671 1513 649 190 109 1511 561 1503 1050 707 140 176 1074 375 701 345 1248 597 198 952 1457 1097 463 1166