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Kjetil Tronvoll

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to probe the critique against Ethiopia regarding human rights violations along ethnic and racial lines recently raised by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The article compares the Ethiopian government's stated policy on human and group rights with reported human rights violations in Ethiopia per ethnic regional-state for the purpose of identifying possible "ethnic" patterns of violations. The findings of this article partly question, from a methodological perspective, the categorical classification of "human rights violations along ethnic and racial lines" as expressed by CERD. Violations may certainly be interpreted within an ethnic framework; however, one should also make allowances for a non-ethnic approach to human rights abuses and view the two perspectives as mutually complimentary.

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Edited by Kjetil Tronvoll and Tobias Hagmann

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Edited by Kjetil Tronvoll and Tobias Hagmann

Contested Power in Ethiopia

Traditional Authorities and Multi-Party Elections

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Edited by Kjetil Tronvoll and Tobias Hagmann

This book offers a comparative ethnography of the contested powers that shape democratization in Ethiopia. Although multi-party elections have become the norm in Africa, relatively little is known about the significance of non-state actors such as traditional authorities in electioneering. Focusing on Ethiopia’s competitive 2005 elections, this book analyzes how customary leaders, political parties and state officials confronted and complemented each other during election time. Case studies reveal the contemporaneousness of traditional authorities in modern politics, but also how multi-party competition reproduces traditional relations of domination among ethnic groups. The book documents the importance of customary authority in selecting party candidates and providing legitimacy to political parties, but also their limitations in a country dominated by a semi-authoritarian party-state.