The issue of ethnic politics has increasingly attracted the attention of many political scientists in the contemporary period. This growing interest emanates from the proliferation of violent conflicts along ethnic lines because of unequal power and resource allocation among the different ethnic groups of the world. It is not arguable that the prevalence of violent conflict is a great obstacle for the maintenance of internal peace and a critical challenge for nation-building in multi-ethnic nations, most particularly in Africa. Since independence, unmanageable and more problematic conflicts resulting in ethnic cleansing and genocide have repeatedly seen in Africa due to politicized ethnicity, an inconvenient leftover from European colonialism. Nevertheless, the situations of ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia are not a European colonial legacy; rather the results of repression, highly centralized and the narrow ethnocratic political system of the country. Ethiopians, like other Africans, have faced the experience of political domination, economic exploitation, socio-cultural marginalization and religious discrimination from the three successive regimes of Ethiopia: the imperial, Derg and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), under the guise of nation-building project. Thus, this paper tries to visualize the invisible curses of ethnic politics in the Ethiopian federal system, which was installed by the EPRDF in 1991.
Key words: federalism, ethnic Politics, violent conflict, multi-ethnic nation