African Journal of Political Science and International Relations
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Article Number - 745123965605

Vol.11(9), pp. 234-248 , September 2017
ISSN: 1996-0832

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Full Length Research Paper

Ethnic federal system and conflict in the post-1995 Ethiopia: The case of southern regional state

Temesgen Thomas Halabo
  • Temesgen Thomas Halabo
  • Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

 Received: 08 February 2016  Accepted: 27 May 2016  Published: 30 September 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0

The study investigated the practice of ethnic federal system along with ethnic rights to self-determination and associated conflicts in the context of Southern Regional state of Ethiopia.  This study is a qualitative research that employed both primary and secondary sources. The federal system is based on the constitutional conviction that ethnic groups in Ethiopia have the right to self-determination up to secession. By using ethnicity as an instrument to establish the constituent units, ethnic entitlement and political representations, the federal system has uniquely formalized politics of ethnicity in Ethiopia. Practically, the federal system in Ethiopia faces anomalous asymmetries both within the four ethno-parties that formed the Ruling party and constituent units. Despite rhetorically committing to multi–party politics and democracy, the political regime in power is markedly intolerant of political pluralism. The ‘making and remaking’ of the regions and local ethnic political parties in Southern Ethiopia has led to conglomeration of 56 ethnic groups into a single region. Instead of ethnic right to self-determination in accordance with the constitutional principles, the ruling party has gradually put efforts into administrative integration of diverse ethnic groups. This is one of the underlying causes for ethnic autonomy conflicts in the region.  It is time for the ruling party to accept the consequences of the constitutional choices, to protect the constitutionally declared principle of federalism, to respect ethnic right to self–governance in Ethiopia beyond ideological and political motives.   

Key words: Ethnic federal system, the right to self-determination, making and remaking, ethnic autonomy conflicts, southern regional state and party politics.

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APA Halabo, T. T. (2017). Ethnic federal system and conflict in the post-1995 Ethiopia: The case of southern regional state. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 11(9), 234-248.
Chicago Temesgen Thomas Halabo. "Ethnic federal system and conflict in the post-1995 Ethiopia: The case of southern regional state." African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 11, no. 9 (2017): 234-248.
MLA Temesgen Thomas Halabo. "Ethnic federal system and conflict in the post-1995 Ethiopia: The case of southern regional state." African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 11.9 (2017): 234-248.

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