Blurred Bottom lines of Ethiopian Political Crisis from 20011 to 2020

Jemal Muhamed Adem


Ethiopia has been hosting political crisis since 2011. While the dominant and official narratives emphasis on ethnicity as a sole factor to explain contemporary Ethiopian politics in general and the ongoing political crisis in particular, this paper argues that ethnic and religious determinants are deeply intertwined in Ethiopian political and conflictual dynamism. The current political transformation and related political violence and the country’s upcoming future can only better explained by interplay of ethno and religious factors at local, regional and international levels. Despite the masking role of ethnicity over religious motives at least in official term, there is a tendency of developments in which the latter overwhelms the former which will expose the country for external manipulation and destabilization. The grievances that provoke ethno-religious tensions have most often demonstrated through ethnic unrests, bitter political dissidents often stoked by political elites, direct and indirect foreign actor’s involvement, social media activities and violent incidents.  In view of the current events unfolding in the country, the paper argued that ethnic factors alone cannot explain Ethiopia’s political crisis, but ethno-religious mingles. The arguments in this paper are supported by both secondary and primary sources and with consideration of the violent incidents and their implications in multicultural contexts of Ethiopian Society.

Keywords: Ethno-religious, political crisis, Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/79-03

Publication date: January 31st 2020


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