Treatments of the Rights of National Minorities and Caste. Social Groups in Amhara National Regional State: Law and Practice

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


The prime motive of the writer to do a research on the rights of national minorities is the . divergence of the Amhara National Regional State Constitution against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) Constitution on some rights of national minorities. Moreover, the researcher wants to see the status of the Amhara Region government activities against the guaranteed constitutional rights. of national minorities. Besides, the researcher, being watchfiil of the prevalent problems in the area, is enticed to make a comparative survey of the constitution of the Amhara National Regional State (ANRS) in relation to the rights of national minorities with that of the three neighbouring national regional state constitutions (Benshangul-Gumuz, Oromia and Tigray). The research tries to address three fill1damental issues on the rights of national minorities. In the first place, the constitutional guarantees in the FDRE, ANRS and the three national regional states neighbouring to the Amhara National Regional State are assessed in the study. Secondarily, the perception of the national minorities covered in the study and the three organs of the government (legislative, executive, and the judiciary) with regards to the respective constitution of the region and the application of the constitution on the rights of national minorities are scrutinized among others. And finally, the basic distinctions in crafting their constitutions to issues referring national minority rights and in implementing same among the regions covered in the study. In addition to this the research gives some space to assess the histolY, legal and social status ofNegede-Woyto and the Awura-Amba community in relation to the rights of equal treatment, non-discrimination, accommodation and participation in societal as well as political activities. A qualitative approach of data analysis is made use of in the research. Various laws (international, national and regional) and other related documents are utilized as data source in addition to the interview and focus group discussion, the respondents being selected on pwposive basis. The researcher also uses his personal observation as additional source of information. The major findings the research comprises are; identifYing the contradiction between Art.39 (1) of FDRE Constitution and the common Art. 39(4) of national regional states and thus restricts the rights of national minorities in exercising self-rule, representing at regional executive and the judiciwy as well as in issuing regulations and formulating policies which could help them to strengthen their socio-economic and political activities. Furthermore, the three neighbouring national regional states covered in the study denay the rights of those national minorities living in their respective regions and realizing the ignorance of the governments of regional states pertaining to the rights of national minorities and caste social groups . . Finally, the implication on the issue illustrates that the effort to build one economic and political society could be hindered if those problems mentioned above are not corrected in the near future. And this in turn calls for a revision of const itutions and a close monitoring on the practices of the rights of national minorities not only in those regional states covered in the study but also in the other national regional states of Elhiopia.