COVID-19 and political stability in Ethiopia

Tensions are rising over future governance options, and the state of emergency could spark riots.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures used to tackle it could have profound implications for Ethiopia’s political stability. While initially the threat appeared to temper political tensions, there are concerns that the state of emergency imposed to contain it may yet spark riots. Looming political differences could also escalate into unrest. Governance options should be politically negotiated and constitutionally mandated to ensure a stable future.

About the author

Semir Yusuf, who has a PhD from the University of Toronto, 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.

Picture: Amelia Broodryk/ISS

Development partners
This policy brief is funded by the Government of the Netherlands. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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