This event will seek to unpack the current situation in Ethiopia and the competing narratives about its past and future.
The crisis in Tigray and northern Ethiopia has forced prime minister Abiy Ahmed to declare a nationwide state of emergency, as the spectre of a regime change looms over Addis Ababa. This puts the country at a critical juncture, as the prospect grows of an expanding civil war, raising fears the situation could tip into genocide. An immediate ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian access and a comprehensive national dialogue on reconciliation have never been more urgent.
This event will seek to unpack the current situation in Ethiopia and the competing narratives about its past and future. It will ask how close Ethiopia is to peace now, what needs to be done to achieve peace, who are the actors and what model can help achieve sustainable peace in a deeply divided society.
Dr Safia Aidid is an interdisciplinary historian of modern Africa and an Arts and Science Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. She holds a PhD in History from Harvard University. Her research addresses anticolonial nationalism, territorial imaginations, borders, and state formation in the Horn of Africa, with a particular focus on modern Somalia and Ethiopia. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled "Pan-Somali Dreams: Ethiopia, Greater Somalia, and the Somali Nationalist Imagination." In July 2022, she will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor of History and African Studies at the University of Toronto.
Emebet Getachew Abate is an expert on peace and security and peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa, with experience working with Life & Peace Institute as a Country Manager to promote peacebuilding through dialogue and inclusive participation. Emebet has previously worked at Crisis Action as Representative to the African Union and with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Addis Ababa, focussing on the promotion peace and security in the Horn of Africa through assisting the African Governance Architecture framework. She also worked with Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and African Rally for Peace and Development. Emebet earned her Master’s in Gender, Peace, and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
Dr Mebratu Kelecha is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa (FLIA). He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Westminster and an MSc in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding from Durham University. He also earned a BA in Public Administration and Development Management and an MA in Public Management and Policy (specialized in public policy) from Addis Ababa University. Before coming to the UK, Mebratu taught undergraduate courses at Dilla and Ambo Universities in Ethiopia.
Goitom Gebreluel is a political scientist who studies the comparative and international politics of the Horn of Africa. His thematic research interests lie in alliance politics, strategic rivalries and nationalism. He has held various teaching positions at the universities of London, Oxford and Mekelle. Goitom holds a PhD and MSc from the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.
Professor Alex de Waal is an Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and has worked in north-east Africa for thirty years, including as an adviser on Sudan to the African Union. Alex is also an Investigator at the LSE Centre for Public Authority and International Development.
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