What is driving Ethiopia's ethnic conflicts?

Inclusive national dialogue is needed to reconstitute the state to meet the reasonable demands of major political groups.

The rise in violent ethnic conflict in Ethiopia in recent years can largely be linked to the sharp increase in militant ethnic nationalism against a backdrop of state and party fragility. Decades of exclusivist political arrangements have contributed to a steady rise in ethnic consciousness, with the state and ruling party becoming increasingly incoherent. This has increased ethnic disagreement. High-level negotiations aided by nationwide and inclusive dialogue could help stabilise the country. 

About the author 

Semir Yusuf is a senior researcher on the Horn of Africa in the Institute for Security Studies’ Addis Ababa office. His research focuses on conflict and peace studies, transition politics, authoritarian politics and Ethiopian studies. Semir obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto in comparative politics and development studies. His MA and BA were in political science and international relations.  

Picture: Adapted from Oromia movies/Flickr 

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