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CENTER-PERIPHERY RELATIONS, LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND CONFLICTS IN ETHIOPIA: THE EXPERIENCE OF METEKEL PROVINCE [Abstract ID: 0502-04]
In Ethiopia, the study of center-periphery relations is not an easy task. It has remained complex and dynamic, dictated and shaped by ever changing socio-economic relations, state ideology and structure. A case in point is Metekel region, a lowland area characterized by underdevelopment, hot climate and a traditional way of life. Until post-1991 developments, Metekel was peripheral in relation to the central state. It was an area of confrontation and conflict. Owing to the structural weakness of the center, successive rulers of the area were unable to maintain effective control over it. Focusing on Gumuz, a Nilo-Saharan family, on the one hand, and highlanders and new settlers on the other, this paper examines the main features and dynamics of center-periphery relations, governance and conflicts in the Metekel region. The sources, both primary and secondary, have been carefully examined in accordance with the objectives of the study.