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Title: Conflict complexity in Ethiopia : case study of Gambella Regional State
Author: Adeto, Yonas Adaye
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 7349
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2014
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The causes of violent conflicts in Ethiopia in general, and in Gambella in particular, are complex. Critically examining and explaining the causes entails going beyond labelling them solely in terms of one variable, such as 'ethnic conflict‘. The contestation of the study is that contemporary conflicts in Ethiopia have remained protracted, untransformed and recurring. This is largely because the past processes which gave rise to them were not properly taken into account and not properly comprehended, thereby giving rise to much superficiality in their explanations, inappropriate policies and a failure of efforts at apprehending them. The thesis identifies four major factors and two contrasting narratives which have framed the analysis of conflict complexity in Gambella. Qualitatively designed, the study focuses mainly on the structural causes of violent conflicts since 1991 and how their constituent elements were conceived and explained by different actors. First, asymmetrical centre-periphery relations entrenched in the state building processes of the imperial and military regimes, continued under the present regime rendering Gambella an object of extraction and repression. Consequently, competing claims of ownership of Gambella between the Anywaa and the Nuer ethnic groups evolved entailing shifting allegiances to the central government. Second, ethnic politics of the new social contract ushered in a new thinking of ‗each ethnic group for itself‘; it made ethnic federalism a means of consolidating the regime‘s political philosophy, depriving the local community of a genuine political representation, leading to broader, deeper and more serious violence. Third, land policy of the incumbent favoured its political party affiliates and foreign investors, thus inducing more violence. Finally, external dynamics impacted on internal conflict complexity. The study has argued that single factor approaches are inadequate to explain what has constituted violent conflicts in Gambella since 1991; it has concluded that internal conflicts are complex, and their constituent elements are conceived of, and explained, differently by the local peoples and different levels of government. Nevertheless, given commitment and a political will, the local and national governments, as well as peoples at grassroots level, have the capacity to transform the present, and to prevent future violent conflicts in the region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Complexity ; Dynamics ; Ethiopia ; Ethnic relations ; Gambella ; Interaction ; Peace ; Violent conflict