Ethiopia’s Diversity Problem

A stable Ethiopia is a must for prosperity in the Horn of Africa region

Somalilandsun: ETHIOPIA is the latest country to plunge into the brink of war in 2020. It is currently being torn apart by inter-ethnic conflict, and the situation seems to be heating up.

If Ethiopia descends into war, other countries, including Egypt, Somalia and possibly Turkey will be drawn into it.

When we consider the recent strife between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the political chaos in the US, tensions in the West Philippine Sea and the pandemic and 2020 seems ready to usher in an even explosive 2021.

To understand Ethiopia, it’s important to point out that it is a mountainous country with dozens of ethnic groups (plus the complication of having Christianity and Islam in the same place). This diversity has caused Ethiopia to be a hodge-podge of different groups forced to exist under a single state, and the result is decades of conflict, corruption and inter-ethnic hatred.

The current Tigray conflict of 2020 could trace its origins to the early 1990s when the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front took power after the Ethiopian Civil War. The idea, as far as I can tell, was to bring all the groups together and get them to work for the greater good of their “country.”

It didn’t work, and certain groups, most notably the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, ended up controlling the new system.

Enter Abiy Ahmed Ali. He rose to power in 2018, and for a while it seemed like he could turn his country around. Hailing from multiple ethnic backgrounds as well as both Christian and Muslim ancestry, Ahmed Ali went to work breaking up the old system. For a while, he was successful, but in the end, he only ended up creating a new coalition, one that excluded the old powers from having any say in state politics.

Which brings us to the current state of Ethiopia: The slide back to square one. The country is experiencing the return of inter-ethnic war, except this time it is centered around the Tigray region, which is home to the ethnic group most harmed by Ahmed Ali’s policies.

All in all, for Ethiopia, it’s the same old war for a new decade.

By: Jed Del Rosario for