Conference name, dates, place

2007 International Conference on Ethiopian Development Studies (4th ICEDS) A Multidisciplinary Conference on the Challenges of Peace and Development in Ethiopia & the Horn of Africa, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan (WMU), August 2-4, 2007

Document Type


Presentation Date



The Ethiopian people are ethnically heterogeneous, speaking multiplicity languages comprising of more than 100 groups. Hence, the country presents a mosaic of nationalities, each speaking a dialect of one of more than 70 languages and has a long history of rich culture and strong social values. Although there were some ethnic-conflicts, that go back a long way, among few of the ethnic groups (mainly for control over resources, such as grazing land, water points, cultivable land), people solved such conflicts using their own conflict resolution mechanism; for instance elders meeting and community tribunal system. The indigenous civil society groups have also played a great role in resolving and preventing violent ethnic conflict. However, since the current ruling party, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power in May 1991; there have been a number of violent ethnic conflicts widespread throughout the country. Though accurate statistics are hard to come by, various reports and testimonials in all regional states been witness to frequent violent conflicts that have claimed the lives of thousands of people and accounted for the destruction of public properties. The paper tries to show the overall feature of conflict in the country and forward some recommendations on roles CSOs should play in addressing ethnic conflicts.