Conflict dynamics in Ethiopia: 2019–2020

Until a political settlement is negotiated to bridge the ideological divide among political elites, stability will remain elusive.

Ethiopia’s 2018 political reforms were widely hailed for liberalising the country’s restricted political landscape. However, it did not take long for the transition to become mired in inter-ethnic and communal clashes. This report examines the drivers of the violence that ravaged Ethiopia between October 2019 and the end of 2020. It points to ethnic tensions, militant national identities, rival political elites and their mobilisation of the masses, along with state fragility and complicity.

About the author

Tegbaru Yared is a Researcher in the Horn of Africa Security and Analysis Programme in ISS Addis Ababa. His research focuses on ethnicity and nationalism, memory studies, conflict and peace studies and federalism.

Image: ISS/Amelia Broodryk

Development partners
The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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