March 30th 2023

Talk on the Ethiopian peace agreement

"In war, not only infrastructure gets destroyed" - Belachew Gebrewold, Head of the Department of Social Work, in an interview with the "STANDARD".


Ethiopia has a peace treaty since November. "However, the actual peace process is still in its infancy," says Belachew Gebrewold, head of the MCI Department of Social Work and an expert on Ethiopia. He conducts research on the causes of the conflict.

"Starting war is easy, ending it is far more difficult," says Belachew Gebrewold. He continues,

"The country's constitution has enshrined the system of ethnic federalism since 1995, which promises all ethnic groups an unrestricted right to self-determination, including the right to independence. With this article, the former coalition wrote the distinction of ethnic identities into the constitution. That was dangerous. Identities could easily be instrumentalized by elites. One group could thus be played off against another relatively easily. Attempts are made to brand a group in such a way that it is dehumanized. This is how many wars are legitimized. This system helped the Tigray elite achieve a very influential position in the state between 1991 and 2018.

The war has destroyed not only infrastructure, but also trust. Things will not change overnight. It is promising that William Ruto, Kenya's president, is acting as a mediator between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan. Both Egypt and Sudan supported the Tigray from Ethiopia's point of view."

Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold | Head of Department & Studies Bachelor's program Social Work
Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3400