This article explores why the Oromo protests have transformed the Ethiopian political landscape since monstrators took the streets in November 2015. It also examines the relationship between the two pillars of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), ethnic federalism and developmentalism, and the Oromo protests. The study aims to illustrate the connection between the Ethiopian state’s fundamental strategies and the capacity of popular movements to bring about political change. The study has used a qualitative research approach with both primary and secondary data. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted and recorded with a voice recorder, and data was analysed through thematic analysis. The findings of the research show, first, that the securitisation of development strategy performed by the EPRDF triggered the protests. And second, that the primordial understanding of ethnicity, as defined in the Constitution, contributed to the articulation of the Oromo protests as a movement. The study concludes that the Oromo protests will pave the way for reform because they reflect the regime’s failures and also represent the demands of the larger part of Ethiopian society.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections