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Towards building stability in a multinational / ethnic society: conflicts in Sidaamaland, Ethiopia

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Kifle Wansamo
Publication date2007
Number of pages395
Awarding Institution
  • Clapham, Christopher, Supervisor
Award date31/01/2007
Place of PublicationLancaster
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Transformation of identity-based protracted social conflicts in a multinational/ethnic society benefits
from geographical area-based three-level knowledge (i.e., knowledge of historical context of conflict
development, a deeper understanding of the current conflict through an in-depth conflict analysis, and
local social capital including cultural worldview). This thesis, therefore, takes a particular conflictridden
area in Ethiopia (a micro-level study) and complements the general (macro-level) studies of
conflicts in the country and the Horn of Africa. The analysis of the unpeaceful relations and their
outcomes in Sidaamaland of the current Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region
(SNNPR) in Ethiopia indicates the absence of meaningful participatory structures, lack of the rule of
law, and the poverty of top-down approach in addressing the needs (social, economic, political and
security) of the Ethiopian peoples. The horizontal unpeaceful relations in Sidaamaland are mainly a
spill-over of the unresolved vertical protracted conflicts (Sidaama vs the government), and are not
from what is called ‘old ethnic hatred.’ Basically, the communities in conflict raise more or less
similar issues, but lack of the use of avenues for dialogue between them causes misperceptions and
lack of understanding. Given the existing local and national provisions (which the thesis will also
present)— that can meaningfully be used in transforming unpeaceful relations in Sidaamaland/SNNPR
and ultimately in Ethiopia— the current conflicts need not be violent.