News Article

The threat of intraethnic strife in Ethiopia

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the African Union. Image credit: Office of the Prime Minister-Ethiopia@Flickr

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the African Union. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the African Union. Image credit: Office of the Prime Minister-Ethiopia@Flickr

Consensus has to be established first within ethnic groups before national unity can be achieved in Ethiopia.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this commentary are those of the staff member. This commentary is independent of specific national or political interests. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the institutional position of International IDEA, its Board of Advisers or its Council of Member States.

When news broke of an alleged attempt to remove the security detail of Oromo activist and media mogul Jawar Mohammed, hundreds of his supporters flocked to his residence in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and capital of the Oromia region. Jawar, who was one of the organisers of the Oromo protests that started in 2015 which ultimately led to the change in government in 2018, was provided security by the federal police after returning from exile last year.

The incident came on the heels of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is also leader of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), accusing unnamed media owners with foreign passports of fomenting instability, a disguised attack on Jawar, who holds American citizenship and is therefore not legally Ethiopian (as Ethiopia does not allow dual nationality).

Following the rise of Abiy to power, the Oromia regional state has witnessed intense political contest among parties . . . 


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About the Author

Programme Officer
Adem Kassie Abebe

Adem Kassie Abebe supports constitution-building processes around the world, and designs and implements projects particularly in transitions to peace and democracy in politically complex and fragile contexts. He convens platforms for dialogue, advises and provides technical assistance to high level constitution and decision makers at national and international levels and to civil society stakeholders. He was an editor of and managed ConstitutionNet from 2016 to 2021, an online platform providing continuous updates on comparative constitutional reform processes around the world. A notable feature of ConstitutionNet is 'Voices from the Field', a series in which local experts provide analysis and updates on the process, content and principal actors in ongoing constitutional-reform proposals.