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‘National Self-Determination’: Federalism The Ethiopian Way

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Chapter Summary

Although inequality based on ethnic affinity has been a part of Ethiopian governance since the establishment of the modern state at the end of the nineteenth century, and both Emperor Haile Selassie and the military Marxist regime of the Derg oppressed ethnic-based movements, Ethiopia moved more quickly than its African counterparts to recognise, at least symbolically, the question of rights for ethnic groups. Ethiopia's singular experience of ethnic politics is linked to its history of state building, which differs fundamentally from the common African pattern. Initially, the EPRDF included the Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement, an Amharabased organisation which later changed its name to the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), and the Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO), created by the TPLF in 1990. The emergence of a strong pan-Ethiopian party in the 2005 elections contributed to a revival of the EPRDF's defence of ethnic federalism.

Keywords: EPRDF; Ethiopian imperial state; ethnic groups; federalism



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