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Traditional leaders and the dynamics of pastoralist-state interaction: The Afar of Ethiopia in the Lower Awash Valley

Bergen Open Research Archive

Show simple item record Tessema, Anniley Engidawork 2012-10-01T06:14:47Z 2012-10-01T06:14:47Z 2012-06-19 2012-06-19 en
dc.description.abstract This study focuses on the pastoralist Afar in lower Awash valley, northeastern Ethiopia. The Afar is one of east African Cushitic speaking pastoralist group. The coming of European colonizer and the expansion of the Ethiopian state structure influences the Afar to be compartmentalized and administered under the three horn countries, namely, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. Consequently, in the last few decades, due to expansion of the state control, delineation of interactional boundaries and intervention of the state through lopsided development intervention the social, political and economic conditions of the pastoralist Afar in Ethiopia undergone through profound transformation. Therefore, this study investigates the interaction of the pastoralist Afar with the state and the role played traditional leaders and how the state maintain his power by using traditional leader in the Lower Awash Valley. The state in society interaction theoretical framework used to have a comprehensive and holistic view on the state pastoralist interaction under the three successive Ethiopian regimes. The data has been drawn by using qualitative research method. The Afar, in the horn of Africa, they have led by century old traditional leaders located in four different areas namely, Tajoura, Rahaito, Girrifo and Aussa. Of all the four traditional leaders due to its resource endowment and military power the Aussa sultan is much influential and dominant than the rest. During the Imperial period, the Aussa sultan and other traditional leaders incorporated under the Imperial state structure. The imperial state also provided them imperial title. But during this time, particularly, after the coming of large scale commercial farming the social and political status of the Aussa sultan become much more influential and the other traditional leaders got lesser position. In 1975, after the coming the military government to power Aussa Sultanate totally destroyed by considering as relics of feudal institution. During this time, all the property of the sultan and the sultanate was distributed to ordinary pastoralist. The old administrative system was replaced by a new administrative structure in Aussa. The sultan exiled to Saudi Arabia and his sons started military struggle for the restoration of the sultanate. During this time, the Derge used traditional leaders as instrument in areas which is outside of the direct control of the Derge. Right After the end of the Derge period and the coming of EPRDF, the political and economic landscape of the country totally changed from unitary to federal state, and from command economy to free market system. Afar region also established as one of the nine autonomous' regional state. During this time, as has been the case the previous regimes, traditional leaders have had in intercalary category. They serve as an instrument to maintain the power of both the federal and regional states. The conclusion of this research is, even if, there is a change in the social and economic condition of the country, regarding role played by traditional leaders in the state pastoralist interaction, there is no any significant change positions three regimes. Of course, the current national leading party, claiming for the introduction of ethnic based federalism and self-administration. But, practically, TPLF/EPRDF leaders appoint puppet allies as leaders of the regional state. Therefore, the... eng
dc.format.extent 1291089 bytes en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso eng eng
dc.publisher The University of Bergen eng
dc.rights Copyright the author, All rights reserved eng
dc.title Traditional leaders and the dynamics of pastoralist-state interaction: The Afar of Ethiopia in the Lower Awash Valley eng
dc.type Master thesis eng Master i Master of Philosophy in Anthropology of Development en
dc.type.course SANT355 eng
dc.subject.archivecode Mastergrad en
dc.subject.nus 738108 en
dc.type.program MASV-SADE eng

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