Prospective solutions for ethnic-based challenges in Ethiopia in focus

Ethiopia’s experiment with multinational federalism led to a mostly divided society, marked by explosive national and sub-national cleavages. But as identity politics and ethnic nationalism continue to occupy the country’s centre of political gravity, how do we reconfigure the terms of political attachment, belonging and engagement in order to promote social stability and peace for all people in Ethiopia?

Considering the current challenges, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) organized a briefing entitled “Medemer, Solidarity and Subsidiarity at the Interstices of Ethnic Nationalism and Constitutional Patriotism” with Dr. Awol Kassim Allo, Lecturer in Law, Keele Law School, Newcastle, UK, a reknown expert on Ethiopian law, federalism and politics. The event was attended by around 40 participants.

In his presentation Dr. Awol emphasized on the problematic priority of ethnic reference points before a national or even institution-oriented identification. As possible solutions he suggested national solidarity and “Medemer” as likely engergizing reference points to enhance a shared collective committment as well as better understanding and reconciliation between the Ethiopian people.