Ethiopia is a federal republic made up of
nine ethnically defined states and the two metropolitan
areas of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. On paper, the states
have great self-determination, but in reality the
groupings within the old EPRDF alliance have a strong
grip on power.
The federal constitution, which was adopted in 1994
and entered into force in 1995, transformed Ethiopia
from a centrally-governed state into "a multicultural
federation based on ethnic-national representation".
According to the constitution, the states have the right
to break away from the federation, but the central
government has the right to intervene in the states'
affairs on security issues. Until the change of
government in the spring of 2018, the central government
was accused of counteracting groups that strive for
exit, even by force.
Total population and chart of Ethiopia for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Outbreak movements occur mainly in the state of
Oromia, which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, and in
Ogaden, which is part of the state of Somali. In a
referendum in November 2019, the majority of people in
southern Ethiopia voted side by side to form their own
state. The reform-oriented Abiy government, which took
office in the spring of 2018, agreed to accept the
decision, but the outbreak from the state of southern
Ethiopia is expected to take a long time.
The Republic has a president with essentially
representative duties. The President is elected by
Parliament for a term of six years. Re-election is
The Prime Minister has the main power and leads the
work of the government, which includes representatives
of all the larger groups of people. However, important
decisions on, for example, security policy are taken in
practice by the former EPRDF management (see below). The
security service and the armed forces are controlled by
senior officials in the alliance.
Parliament consists of two chambers. The People's
Representatives Council has up to 550 members who are
elected in general majority elections every five years.
They choose the prime minister and make laws. The
Federation Council's 108 members are appointed by the
states, also for five years, according to specific
principles of ethnicity. The task of the Federation
Council is to distribute federal funds to the regions
and mediate in disputes between them. The voting age is
In each state there is a state council headed by a
chairman and an executive body. The regions are divided
into zones, which in turn are divided into districts and
Political parties and resistance groups
From the fall of the military regime in 1991 until
the fall of 2019, the dominant political force was the
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic
Front (EPRDF). The EPRDF was
formed by a number of resistance groups in the 1980s and
has a Marxist-Leninist past. Nowadays, it advocates
Until the fall of 2019, the EPRDF was an alliance
with four main groups. The smallest but the most
influential was Tigreanska People's Liberation
Front (Tigray People's Liberation Front,
TPLF). In particular, it is the TPLF
that has driven the ethnically based politics and
Ethiopia's federalization. Oromos and Amharas also had
their own group in the EPRDF: Oromo Democratic
Party (Oromo Democratic Party, ODP)
and Amharic Democratic Party (Amhara
Democratic Party, ADP) respectively.
The Alliance's fourth main group, Sydetiopiska
People's Democratic Front (Southern Ethiopian
People's Democratic Front, SEPDM) was
said to represent the "South Ethiopian people". (For
Ethiopian people's groups, see Population and
In November 2019, three of the main groups - the
Amharic group, the Oromos and the so-called South
Ethiopian people - merged into a single political party,
called the Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP).
TPLF chose to stand outside.
The government parties are supported in the federal
party by a number of regional parties representing the
special interests of different states.
The opposition is divided into a large number of
parties, most of which are also ethnically and
regionally based. Among the more important opposition
parties is the Alliance Forum for Federal
Democratic Unity (or Medrek,
Amharic for Forum), which was formed prior to the 2010
election. The leading party in Medrek is the
Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ).
The UDJ is an important heir to the Coalition for Unity
and Democracy (CUD), which did well in the 2005 election
but then fell apart.
Another opposition party is the Blue Party
(Semayawi Party), which was formed in 2012.
Oromo Federal Congress (Oromo
Federal Congress, OFC) represents the
interests of Oromo . In 2013, Oromo Federalist
Democratic Movement (OFDM) joined the OFC.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)
fought for the liberation of the Oromo people, from what
is known as "Abyssinian colonial rule" (that is, the
dominance of Amharas and Tigers). In August 2018, OLF
signed a peace agreement with the government, promising
to wage a "peaceful fight" for the unions. OLF was for a
long time banned and labeled as a terrorist group, but
in July 2018, the government lifted the stamp of terror.
The state of Oromia is centrally located in the country
and surrounds Addis Ababa.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front
(ONLF) was formed in 1984 to fight for
the independence of the Somali people in Ogaden, which
is part of the Somali state in the south-east. The ONFL
was considered a terrorist group until July 2018 when
the group was removed from Ethiopia's list of terrorist
groups. In October of the same year, a formal peace
agreement was signed between the government and ONLF,
which promised to move to peaceful methods.
Among the Afars in northeastern Ethiopia there are
also groups that demand independence.
The opposition movement Ginbot 7
(meaning "May 15"; the date in the Ethiopian calendar
when the criticized election was held in 2005) was
formed in 2008 with the goal of working for "a political
system where government power is achieved through a
peaceful and democratic process based on the free will
of citizens". In 2011, Ginbot 7 was labeled a terrorist
organization by Ethiopia. The group then worked from
abroad. In 2015, the group was renamed Patriotic
Ginbot 7 for unity and democracy (Patriotic
Ginbot 7 Movement for Unity and Democracy) as it merged
with the exile group of the Ethiopian People's Patriotic
Front (EPPF), whose goal is to overthrow the EPRDF
government. In mid-2018, the terrorist stamp was lifted
and imprisoned Ginbot 7 leaders pardoned by Prime
Ethiopia enters Somalia
Ethiopia, which already has troops in Somalia, is invading the neighboring
country on a large scale, in support of the so-called transitional government in
fighting against Islamists.
"Nothing overwhelmed during the election"
An official investigation states that almost 200 people died in connection
with the violence during the 2005 election. The security forces are not
considered to have used violence.
War on Islamists
Ethiopia, which has denied reports that the country has soldiers in Somalia,
says it "technically" is at war with Islamists in neighboring countries, as they
have declared holy war on Ethiopia.
Explosion in the capital
Several explosions shake Addis Ababa. Nobody assumes responsibility.