March at a Glance
- ACLED records 92 organized political violence events and 342 reported fatalities in March.
- Oromia region had the highest number of reported fatalities due to organized political violence in March with 187 reported fatalities. Benshangul/Gumuz region followed with 101 reported fatalities.
- In March, the most common event type was battles with 50 events and 217 fatalities reported.
- Armed clashes between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Afar regional special forces and Afar militias continued in Kilbati Rasu-Zone 2 in Afar region.
- The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)-Shane continued to clash with the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), Oromia regional special forces, and Oromia militias in different parts of Oromia region.
- Tensions increased during the Adwa victory celebration in Addis Ababa.
- Armed clashes and attacks against civilians resurfaced in Segen People’s Area zone, Konso zone, and Ale Special woreda in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).
In This Report
- March Situation Summary
- Monthly Focus: Prosperity Party’s First Congress Meeting and People’s Expectations
March Situation Summary
Last month, on 2 March, Ethiopians celebrated the 126th Adwa victory – a celebration of the victory of Ethiopian forces under King Menelik II over Italian forces in March 1896. In Addis Ababa, a change in the location for the celebration caused tension between the people celebrating and government officials, sparking anti-government chanting during the celebration. The next day, SNNPR police officers entered the university compound at Wachemo university, located in Hosaena in Hadiya zone, and beat several students who were wearing T-shirts showing a Menelik II portrait. The security forces accused the students of inciting violence and claimed to have entered the university to stop clashes among students, which had started over a picture of Menelik II printed on their T-shirts and an old national flag – the green, yellow, and red flag without the national emblem at the center. Two days later, on 5 March, police arrested 35 members of the Balderas for True Democracy party on the accusation of inciting disturbance while they were heading to participate in the Karamara victory celebration1 Karamara victory celebration commemorates the victory of Ethiopia over invading Somalia troops in 1975 at Karamara in Somali region in Ethiopia. The 44th anniversary of the victory of Karamara was celebrated at the Ethiopia-Cuba friendship park in Addis Ababa last month. in Addis Ababa. On the same day, Oromo students at Addis Ababa University gathered on Sidist Kilo campus and protested against leaflets distributed on campus, containing hateful and derogatory terms against the Oromo ethnic group. A week later, on 13 March, several students were injured during clashes between rioters on the campus due to discontent over the leaflets.
In March, clashes between the TPLF and Afar regional special forces and militias continued in Afar region. Most of these clashes were concentrated in Abala, Berahle, Dallol, Erebti, Konneba, and Magale woredas in Kilbati Rasu-Zone 2. On 17 March, Semera University students demonstrated in Semera town in Awsi Rasu-Zone 1, denouncing the TPLF invasion of Afar region and the federal government’s lack of response. Security forces consisting of Afar regional special forces and the city police violently dispersed the protesters, injuring 20 people and arresting five students.
TPLF forces also clashed with the ENDF, Amhara regional special forces, Fano militias, and Amhara militias in Sekota area in Wag Hamra zone, Kobo woreda in North Wello zone, and Zarima woreda in North Gondar zone in Amhara region. Due to limited reporting, casualties resulting from these clashes are unknown. On 4 March, the Ethiopian air force conducted two drone strikes on unspecified targets near the Bahire-Negash resort and Shire airport in North Western Tigray zone in Tigray. Two people were injured due to these strikes. In Southern Tigray zone, TPLF forces abducted 160 youths from Alamata. It is believed that these youths are from the Raya ethnic group. According to witnesses, the TPLF abducted them to coerce them to fight for the group (ESAT, 3 March 2022).
People from these conflict-affected areas continue to arrive in relatively peaceful areas. At the beginning of March, hundreds of internally displaced Tigrayans from central Tigray began to arrive in Kobo town in Amhara region in search of humanitarian assistance. They continued to arrive in Wag Hamra and North Wello zones of the region throughout the month. These two zones are also hosting thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from different areas controlled by the TPLF in both Amhara and Tigray regions (VOA Amharic, 10 March 2022; Amhara Media Corporation, 15 March 2022). The conditions of IDPs, especially women and children, in Wag Hemra zone in Amhara region are dire (Amhara Media Corporation, 29 March 2022; DW Amharic, 30 March 2022; DW Amharic, 7 April 2022). There are also reports of daily displacements in six woredas in Kilbati Rasu-Zone 2 in Afar region (UNOCHA, 31 March 2022).
On 24 March 2022, the federal government declared a humanitarian truce in Tigray region. The Tigray regional government, led by members of the TPLF, agreed to a “cessation of hostilities” shortly after (Tigray External Affairs Office, 24 March 2022). This truce was declared a day after the government accused the TPLF of opening fire on vehicles that were carrying humanitarian aid and heading to Tigray region at “Abala and Mekele corridor” (ESAT, 23 March 2022). Following the agreement, several trucks carrying humanitarian aid arrived in Tigray region through the Semera-Abala-Mekele route (ICRC, 2 April 2022; Twitter @reda_getachew, 1 April 2022). This is the first delivery of humanitarian aid with vehicles since 15 December 2021 (see EPO Weekly: 19-25 March 2022 for more information on the complications in implementing the ceasefire).
In Amhara region, members of Fano militia clashed with Amhara regional special forces in Mota town, Yejube, Biwegn, and Gindewoin in East Gojam zone following the arrest of a Fano leader by government forces after he refused to stop training Fano members. In Mota, four members of the regional special forces were reportedly killed, and six others were injured in the shootout. On 10 March, Amhara regional special forces and militias beat several people and burned over 40 homes in Haro kebele in Dewa Harewa woreda in Oromia special zone, after accusing them of supporting the OLF-Shane.
Towards the end of the month, tensions escalated between Amhara and Oromia regional governments after an attack in Amorabet kebele in Minjar Shenkora woreda in North Shewa zone and another one in Korke/Awera Godana area, which is contested between East Shewa zone in Oromia region and North Shewa Zone in Amhara region. On 29 March, an unknown number of people were killed and injured due to armed clashes between militias from Oromia region and local Amhara militias in Amorabet kebele in Minjar Shenkora woreda in North Shewa zone in Amhara region. On the same day, an unidentified armed group — labeled as a “radical Amhara armed group” by officials from Oromia region – ambushed over 130 local militiamen and police forces from Oromia region as they traveled through Awera Godana/Korke area, killing 26 people and injuring 15 others. The officials of Amhara and Oromia regions immediately contested each other’s narrative of the event.
According to the administrator of North Shewa zone (Amhara), the events occurred after Oromo militiamen shot and killed a federal police officer (Amhara Communications, 31 March 2022; ESAT, 31 March 2022), but the administrator of East Shewa zone (Oromia) denied this allegation (ESAT, 31 March 2022). He stated that the attack was conducted by “an extremist armed group” from Minjar Shenkora woreda in North Shewa zone while Oromia security forces were returning from an operation around Welenchiti in Boset woreda in Oromia region through Awera Godana/Korke. He noted that members of the federal police were also attacked when they tried to intervene and calm the situation.
In Oromia region, armed clashes between the OLF-Shane and ENDF, Oromia regional special forces, and Oromia militias continued. In March, ACLED recorded 19 armed clash events between the two sides in East Wollega, Kellem Wollega, North Shewa, West Hararge, West Shewa, and West Wollega zones, with the majority – 11 events – occurring in West Shewa zone (see map below). Previously, most armed clashes in Oromia were concentrated in West Wollega, West Guji, and Guji zones. However, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, ACLED recorded 34 armed clash events between OLF-Shane and government security forces in West Shewa zone, while only two such events were recorded in the zone in the period between 1 January 2018 and 30 September 2021.
In addition, on 19 March, three local militia members and a 12-year-old child died when a bomb exploded during the graduation ceremony of local militias in Bulbula town stadium in East Shewa zone. Thirty-five people were injured due to the blast. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Attacks against civilians also continued in Oromia region by different actors. Amhara ethnic militias and Fano militias conducted five attacks against civilians in March. From 5 to 7 March, Amhara and Fano militias shot and killed an unknown number of Karrayyu pastoralists in Koran Googo and Korkora Muli villages in Fentale woreda in East Shewa zone. During the week of 9 March, Amhara ethnic militias burned several houses of farmers and public and private assets and killed four people in Dicho Abagermama kebele in Sibu Sire woreda in East Wollega zone. A similar event occurred in Hagelo Tulema kebele in Sibu Sire woreda where 27 people were reportedly killed.
Last month, ACLED recorded nine violence against civilians events, including attacks and abductions, by the OLF-Shane. On 2 March, members of the OLF-Shane shot and killed at least two civilians in Wali Gale village in Sibu Sire woreda in East Wollega zone. On 8 March, the OLF-Shane attacked and killed seven civilians, including five from the same family, in Obera Keraro kebele in Illu Galan woreda in West Shewa zone. The attack continued the next day in and around the nearby Ejaji town. On 8 March, OLF-Shane, Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), and TPLF affiliated militants burned 24 houses and looted civilian assets in Mender-Sidist rural village in Limu woreda in East Wollega zone. The militants shot and killed one resident and abducted two others. The next day, members of the OLF-Shane abducted four civilians from Gelila town in Limu woreda after accusing them of collaborating with government forces. On 17 March, the OLF-Shane killed eight Amhara civilians, including a priest, in Endode kebele Gida Ayana woreda in East Wollega zone. Later in the month, on 24 March, an armed group, believed to be the OLF-Shane by the victim, attacked the residence of the Oromo Abbaa Gadaas (traditional elders) Association chairman and Abbaa Gadaa of Guji in Bule Hora in West Guji zone in Oromia region and looted goods. The OLF-Shane denied the accusation that it was behind the attack (BBC Amharic, 25 March 2022). The group also abducted three police officers – presumably off-duty – of the Kamashi zone correctional facility in Benshangul/Gumuz near Nejo town in West Wollega zone on 31 March.
Additionally, on 17 March, unidentified gunmen attacked civilians in Alge kebele in Metehara town in East Shewa zone, killing at least 10 people and injuring over 20 others. Some witnesses believe that the attack was conducted by the OLF-Shane targeting non-Oromo ethnic civilians (ESAT, 18 March 2022). Others, including the woreda administrator, insisted that the attack was not ethnically motivated (Ethiopia Insider, 18 March 2021). On 10 March, a man associated with the Prosperity Party was shot and killed by unspecified armed men in Kegni in West Shewa zone. On the same day, a West Shewa police officer and his driver were shot and killed by unidentified armed men in Meti in West Shewa zone. Previously, Abba Torbe – a group affiliated with the OLF-Shane – was involved in assassinating government officials in Oromia region. However, it is not clear whether these killings were committed by this group.
Extrajudicial killings by government forces also continued in Oromia region. All such killings in March were recorded in West Shewa zone. This might be connected with the high number of recorded armed clashes between government forces and the OLF-Shane. On 4 March, Oromia regional special forces and local militias shot and killed three youths who were detained in Ela town prison in Goda Libasi village in Meta Walkite woreda. The reason behind the killing is unknown. On 9 March, Oromia regional special forces shot and killed a father and son in Kalate in Abuna Ginde Beret woreda. The victims were detained after being accused of hiding one of their family members who is allegedly a member of the OLF-Shane. On 23 March, members of the ENDF shot and killed five students at their school in Maksa Leku kebele in Cobi woreda for an unknown reason.
In Gambela region, attacks by Murle ethnic militias from South Sudan slightly decreased in March compared to the previous month. Last month, ACLED recorded two attacks against civilians and one armed clash event involving this group in the region, while in February, ACLED recorded five events in total – two armed clashes and three attacks against civilians (see EPO Weekly: 12-18 March 2022 for an update on the conflict in Gambela). On 1 March, Murle militias from South Sudan crossed the border and attacked civilians, killing one person and injuring another in Langjok kebele in Makuey woreda in Nuwer zone. On the same day, Murle militiamen launched an attack and killed a civilian in Agnewak zone. Two weeks later, on 15 March, Gambela regional special forces clashed with Murle militias in Aliya kebele in Itang Special woreda. The regional government claimed that its forces repelled the militiamen’s plan to attack civilians (Gambella Regional Gov’t Press Secretariat Office, 15 March 2022).
Furthermore, on 8 March, members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) from South Sudan clashed with the South Sudanese military in Jikawo – near the border between Ethiopia and South Sudan – in Nuwer zone. The next day, SPLM-IO forces entered Ethiopia and opened fire on civilians, killing one person and wounding six others in Lare woreda in Nuwer zone. These events forced over 9,500 civilians in four kebeles of the zone to flee their homes (Gambella Regional Gov’t Press Secretariat Office, 13 March 2022). In addition, on 27 March, members of the federal police and Gambela regional special forces exchanged fire at Gambela University for an unknown reason. One person was killed and another injured.
In Benshangul/Gumuz region, armed clashes and attacks against civilians continued in March. On 2 March, unidentified gunmen ambushed a vehicle transporting visitors to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) around the Africa Agriculture Development area between Dangur and Guba woredas in Metekel zone, killing 20 Ethiopian military soldiers, including a high-ranking commander, and three civilians. Federal troops, along with regional forces from Amhara and SNNPR regions, responded to the ambush the next day and killed at least 30 of the alleged assailants. Eleven other people, including ethnic Gumuz bystanders and Tigray civilians accused of providing information on security movements, were arrested at a location near the incident and executed by security forces in Ayceed kebele in Guba woreda in Metekel zone. At least one of these men was recorded being burned alive, sparking an outcry over the conduct of Ethiopian security forces (EHRC, 13 March 2022). Moreover, during the week of 16 March, Gumuz ethnic militias clashed with ENDF soldiers and Benshangul/Gumuz regional special forces and militias in Sherkole woreda in Asosa zone. Thirty members of the group were reportedly killed while 15 others were injured during the clashes. Twenty-seven members of the group and several weapons were also captured.
The number of violence against civilians events involving Fano militias and Amhara regional special forces in Benshangul/Gumuz region increased in March. ACLED recorded six such events last month, with all but one occurring in Dibate woreda in Metekel zone. This woreda shares a border with Amhara region. The other event, mentioned above, occurred in Guba woreda. On 15 March, Amhara regional special police forces and Amhara ethnic militiamen killed a pregnant Oromo woman in Dibate woreda. The following day, Amhara regional special forces and Fano militias stopped a public transportation bus and abducted 18 ethnic Oromo civilians at Bishan Adi area in Dibate woreda. The incidents triggered a demonstration on 17 March by residents of the woreda who gathered in Barbara in Metekel zone and peacefully demonstrated against what they called “increasing atrocities by Amhara forces.” Demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of Amhara regional special forces and Fano militias from the region (OMN, 17 March 2022). Two of the abductees were shot and killed by ethnic Amhara and Fano militias on 19 March in Dibate woreda. On 22 March, Fano militias shot and killed one youth in Tuski Gambella kebele in Dibate woreda, and looted several head of cattle from the community. The next day, Fano militias killed an unknown number of people and burned over 50 homes in Damadas kebele in Dibate woreda, forcing many civilians to flee their residences.
Last month, violence resurfaced in Segen Area People’s zone, Konso zone, and Ale Special woreda in SNNPR. The first armed clash between an unidentified armed group and SNNPR regional special forces and Konso ethnic militias occurred on 19 March in Barahawa in Ale Special woreda, resulting in an unknown number of fatalities and property destruction. These actors clashed again on 26 March in Dimaya in Karat Zuria in Konso zone over disputed agricultural land. The clashes resulted in an unknown number of fatalities. Dimaya is located at the border of Ale Special woreda and Konso zone and is contested by both administrations. The same day, the head of the Segen Area woreda revenue office was shot and killed by members of an unidentified armed group in Segen while eating dinner with his friends at a restaurant. A day later, unidentified armed men from Ale Special woreda attacked civilians in Dimiya, Segen, and Kolme cluster areas in Konso zone, killing nine people and injuring 13 others. They also burned several homes. On 31 March, unidentified armed men from Derashe Special woreda shot and killed a kebele administrator along with a local militia member and two civilians in Segen Area People’s zone. Violent conflict in these areas is connected to border disputes and the status of the administration level of these areas. Being identified as a zone, special woreda, or woreda makes a difference in receiving the annual budget and the administration level under which the area is administered. Conflict in this area erupted after Konso woreda became a zone and Ale woreda became a special woreda in 2018. Previously, these areas were administered under Segen Area People’s zone, which was established on 28 March 2011 and consisted of Amaro, Burji, Derashe, Konso, and Ale woredas (see EPO’s Segen Area People’s Zone Conflict page for more details on the dynamics of the conflict). Zones and special woredas are directly administered by regional governments while woredas are administered by their respective zones.
In the country’s newest regional state, the South West Ethiopia People’s region, during the week of 30 March, an unidentified armed group killed three people and looted at least 20 head of cattle in Gurafarda and South Bench woredas.
Lastly, on 2 March, Marehan clan militiamen from Somalia clashed with Maqabul-Ismail Gumcadle sub-clan militia members near Lehelow Yucub village in Somali region due to a land dispute. The clashes followed an attack on civilians by militiamen from the Marehan clan who were repulsed by the locals. More than 10 people were reportedly killed overall in these incidents. In addition, Somali regional special forces exchanged fire with the members of Somali ethnic militias during the inauguration ceremony of a local clan leader in Bombas town in Gursum woreda in Fafan zone. Clashes erupted when Somali regional special forces tried to stop the ceremony proceedings. Seven people were killed and more than 20 were injured.
Monthly Focus: Prosperity Party’s First Congress Meeting and People’s Expectations
It has been four years since Abiy Ahmed became the prime minister of Ethiopia. Although originally appointed to this position by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, rather than through popular vote, Abiy quickly gained widespread popularity among a wide range of political organizations throughout the country. Many in Ethiopia were supportive of his initiatives based on unity, forgiveness, and the concept of Medemer.2The main objectives of Medemer are to build on Ethiopia’s rich heritage, rectify past mistakes, and encourage working together for the country’s future (Abiy Ahmed, 21 October 2019). Medemer has three pillars: national unity, the honor of citizens, and prosperity. He was widely credited among Ethiopians and the international community for saving Ethiopia from the civil war (CNN, 29 August 2018). His popularity spanned political divisions and went beyond Ethiopia’s borders, proved when he collected over $2 million from Ethiopians in the diaspora to fund unmet budget needs in the country (EBC, 6 July 2018; Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia London, UK, 11 February 2019; see also EDTF).
Despite Abiy’s popularity across Ethiopia’s political spectrum, his decision to dissolve the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and form a single party, the Prosperity Party (PP), as well as the party’s conduct over the past year and a half, have been controversial. As the PP gathered in its first-party congress in March, challenges and successes of the party were highlighted, giving indications about how the party may be shaped in the future.
The PP was established on 1 December 2019, consisting of the parties that made up the EPRDF except for the TPLF. The TPLF, the then ruling party of Tigray region, refused to join, and the subsequent conflict between the party and the federal government later escalated into a civil war. Originally established as a coalition of four ethnic-based parties, the EPRDF consisted of the TPLF, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM; renamed Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) in 2018), the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO; renamed Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) in 2018), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) (for more details, see EPO’s Actor Profiles page Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)- የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች አብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር). These parties were respectively the ruling parties of Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR regions under Ethiopia’s ethno-federalist system of governance. The remaining regions’ ruling parties were considered “affiliate parties,” meaning that they were not members of the EPRDF and did not participate in any decision-making processes. The newly formed PP integrated these affiliate parties into the party structure, giving them the power to sit at the decision-making table. However, the party’s regional wings are still identified as Oromia PP, Amhara PP, and so on (see EPO’s Actor Profiles page Prosperity Party (PP)- ብልጽግና ፓርቲ).
In this way, Prime Minister Abiy and by extension the PP have gained political popularity among the former “affiliate parties.” While Abiy still enjoys support from former EPRDF members in Oromia and Amhara regions, there is stiff opposition forming that could prove difficult to overcome.
In his home region, Oromia, the arrest of popular activist Jawar Mohammed and sidelining of the OLF leadership (Dawud Ibsa) have led to a widespread belief that Abiy would not tolerate political activism from the Oromo ethno-nationalists camp (Al Jazeera, 19 September 2020). In Addis Ababa and Amhara regions, his handling of the TPLF, OLF-Shane, and the recent release of captured TPLF leaders have aroused suspicion that he is not strong enough to tackle security problems in the country. Furthermore, households in every region of the country have suffered from instability and uncontrollable inflation under his leadership (Reuters, 8 February 2022). The effect has been that Abiy is perceived by many former supporters as weak, without a strategy, and reactionary rather than the visionary leader he was once thought to be.
Much of Abiy’s popularity was gained through his opening of political space, allowing many from the diaspora who had been exiled by the previous government to return to Ethiopia and engage in political activism (BBC, 3 January 2019). In the 2021 general elections, after controversially arresting many rival politicians during the run-up to the elections, Abiy’s PP won 448 seats out of the 547 seats in the House of Peoples’ Representatives (see National Election Board of Ethiopia).3National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) won five seats, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (EZEMA) won eight seats, Gedeo People’s Democratic Organization won four seats, Kucha People Party won one seat, and independent candidates won four seats (National Election Board of Ethiopia,10 July 2021). This gave Abiy the legal legitimacy to be appointed as the prime minister again by the newly elected members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives on 4 October 2021.
Challenges to Abiy, and his ruling party, the PP, were indeed the theme of the party’s congress meeting held between 11 and 13 March 2022. Dubbed “From Challenge to Elevation,” the meeting brought around 1,600 members of the party and another 400 guests together to participate (EBC, 28 February 2022).
The congress elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as president of the party while the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Speaker of the House of Federation, Adem Farah, were elected as vice presidents of the party (Prosperity Party, 12 March 2022). Moreover, the congress elected 225 members of the Central Committee and 45 Executive Committee members (EBC, 13 March 2022; Prosperity Party, 13 March 2022). The congress concluded with a six-point resolution outlining the party’s future direction (Prosperity Party, 13 March 2022). The resolution includes consolidating national transformation, a strong commitment to bringing about inclusive national security, strengthening democratic institutions, economic recovery, protecting national sovereignty, and realizing national unity.
Furthermore, it was indicated that the party undertook an evaluation of 108,258 officials at each administrative level of the country. After the evaluation, the party took disciplinary measures against 10,658 officials based on ethics, willingness to serve, achievements, and other related issues. Among these officials, 2,574 officials were fired from their positions while the others were either demoted or reshuffled to other positions (Prosperity Party, 15 March 2022). The congress was followed by consultations with the general population. These consultations were held in 10 regions and two chartered cities and resulted in a number of action points in the form of “resolutions.” The consultations did not take place in Tigray region. Additionally, it is not clear how the participants were selected.
Many in Ethiopia are doubtful that these resolutions will be converted into action. They are hoping to see real reforms taking place on the ground. The ruling party and Prime Minister Abiy have promised institutional reformation at different levels of administration for the past four years, which has yet to translate into real institutional change. Most Ethiopians are struggling on multiple fronts. In the capital, Addis Ababa, poverty and widespread inflation have made life increasingly difficult. Outside of the capital, large swaths of the population are struggling due to the failure of the government to protect civilians from various politically motivated attacks. The right of Ethiopians to work anywhere in the country regardless of their ethnic background has been violated due to ethnic-based attacks in some regions like Oromia and Benshangul/Gumuz. The price of basic needs has skyrocketed due to both internal conflicts as well as the Ukraine and Russia conflict (see EPO Weekly: 26 February-4 March 2022 for more information on how the Ukraine and Russia conflict is affecting Ethiopia). For instance, in March, five litres of cooking oil were being sold at prices up to 1,200 birr (around $23). There are rumors that the government might increase the price of fuel which simultaneously will also affect the price of other items.
Among other political conflicts in Ethiopia, the widespread dissatisfaction with the PP’s first congress is a sign that Ethiopia could slide further into political woe. Populations throughout the country are adopting their own coping mechanisms to overcome security and economic challenges. If the government continues to fail to protect civilians from attacks, civilians may arm themselves to defend their communities, which could spiral into further communal violence and increased lawlessness. Thus, the ruling party should take effective actions to bring the promised reforms to the society before people’s frustrations are expressed in different ways like demonstrations and civil unrest.