Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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DEREJE Workayehu, Lecturer, Department of History and Heritage Management, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

This study critically examined an event of great political and social implications in Ethiopia. Despite its delicate nature, crime in Ethiopia in general and in North Gondar in particular has hardly become a focus of scholarly attention. In so far no major attempt has been made to reconstruct the history of crime in Ethiopia, from the scholarly point of view. Even the available works provide very little information on the subject under consideration. Interest in the topic of crime has developed within the discipline of history in recent years and that many criminologists and sociologists have come to appreciate the value of diachronic or historical approach to the subject. However, historical approach to the study of crime in Ethiopia is still lacking particularly in major research works on crime.This research has examined the patterns and trends of crime in North Gondar from a historical perspective in line with the rapid tempo of social change the country experienced from 1941 on. I selected Gondar city, Metema and Tachi Armachiho based on the rate of Urbanization, trans-boarder crimes and the wide spread practice of blood feud among others. In the process of writing this paper, consulted both primary and secondary source materials by applying data collecting methods like archival research, library work and interview with selected individuals based on their knowledge of the subject matter.The changes in the pattern and trends of crime in the area appear to have been the direct result of the changes that were taking place in the country in 1941 and 1974. The liberation of Ethiopia from Italians’ in 1941 and the adoption of socialist ideology after 1974 and the subsequent changes in the political economy had an effect on the nature and type of crimes committed. As a result, crimes that were wide spread in the pre-revolutionary period could not be so large in number in the post-revolution period and vice versa.