Towards a Constitution of Peace in Ethiopia: Issues of Process and Substance

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Abstract: Regardless of our views on the Ethiopian Constitution, it could not return the country to peace because it does not deal with the dramas of our time and does not offer a legal and constitutional solution to the fundamental political problems of the country. I argue that this is the starting point for thinking about returning Ethiopia to peaceful politics. The war in Northern Ethiopia and the pervasive violence throughout the country are manifestations of the spectacular failure of the Constitution and its underlying political settlement. Then how can we constitute peace in Ethiopia? I argue that the constitution of peace in the country depends on the process it comes into being and the extent to which it directly confronts the fundamental political problems of the country, namely a crisis of statehood, a crisis of governance, and a crisis of citizenship, which, in turn, largely emanate from its problematic transition from empire to republic.