The Sources of Unrest in Ethiopia

Sept. 1, 2016 The instability is rooted in internal divisions that the government has failed to address.

Deep Dive

|September 1, 2016

Summary

Over the past three months, Ethiopia has experienced violent internal unrest in the Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions, each of which has a different reason for protesting. These protests are a continuation in a pattern of unrest caused by endemic ethnic tension and separatist movements. Potential instability in Ethiopia is concerning because it is a major U.S. ally in the Horn of Africa and one of the largest economies on the continent. However, because the protests remain regional and show no real signs of coming together, and the U.S. remains staunchly allied with the Ethiopian government, we do not see this unrest as a threat to the regime.

Ethiopia’s current protests are rooted in centuries-old ethnic tensions, which resulted from the expansionist efforts of past Ethiopian emperors and European influencers. Modern-day Ethiopia is an amalgamation of different ethnic groups, religions and semi-autonomous regions, and these differences are entrenched by geographic b

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The Sources of Unrest in Ethiopia