Drivers of ethnic conflict in contemporary Ethiopia

Although ethnic-based conflicts are not new, their scale and intensity in a short space of time has been alarming.

Violent ethnic conflicts have rocked Ethiopia since 2018. A major reason for the fighting is the sharp rise in contending militant ethno-nationalisms. State and party fragility have also created an environment conducive to the proliferation of violent conflicts. Ethnic nationalisms are partly by-products of political systems that have been put in place by successive governments to manage ethnic division. Top-level and nationwide political negotiations, and activating state resilience, should be established to secure stability in this Horn of Africa country.

About the author

Semir Yusuf is a senior researcher in the Horn of Africa programme at the Institute for Security Studies, Addis Ababa. His research focuses on conflict and peace studies, transition politics, authoritarian politics and Ethiopian studies. Yusuf 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: Olivia Headon/IOM

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