Ethiopia’s tense ethnic federalism is being tested again

Addis Ababa

The federal republic of Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most daring constitutional experiments. The radical idea—that by institutionalizing ethnic divisions the country might peacefully overcome them—was a gamble from the outset. The doubters have largely been proven wrong: Ethiopia’s distinct model of ethnically-based federalism has, since it was introduced in 1995, just about worked. But a particularly nasty spate of violence along a long-contested regional boundary has...

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