capacity and ability of the state to exercise a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence and perform its basic functions well
the pre-2018 Ethiopian state had relatively better control over its territories and a monopoly on violence. Upon Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s accession to power in 2018, l
. De Waal (2021a) argues that Abiy Ahmed’s “real authority extends no further than the first checkpoint outside the capital city.”
was a tightly controlled state capable of stifling the post-1991 intensification of not only ethnic mobilization but also contending nationalisms
he EPRDF’s iron grip on power had managed to curtail internal armed insurgencies and silence interethnic violence
e, the regime also managed to achieve fast economic growth and significant reductions in maternal mortality, illiteracy, and HIV infections
biy Ahmed introduced some remarkable legal and institutional changes and started liberalizing the political space.
He released political prisoners, called up armed opposition parties operating abroad, lifted the state of emergency, and reformed the media and the Charities and Societies proclamations.
The opening up of the political space has resurfaced the long-suppressed grievances of the people, raised their expectations, and unmasked interethnic tensions
The fact that Abiy could not manage these developments turned the people against his administration
like its predecessor, soon started arbitrarily arresting political opponents, activists, and journalists
hrinking the political space
he regime also jailed potential contenders on the eve of the national election and came out with a winne
egime has never hesitated to exclude from power those within the government cabinet who have a different opinion, i.e., what Abiy did to senior Amhara Prosperity Party members
Ethiopia finds itself in a legitimacy trap”
No part of the country is immune to violence
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