The vicious cycle of power rivalry and fear of losing power syndrome in Ethiopia

Mohammed Yimam Endris, Kidane Mengisteab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After a hundred years of political debacle and depression, Tigrayans came to power in 1991 and implemented strategies to maintain power in their hands. This article is aimed at analyzing the dynamics of power rivalry and strategies designed to maintain power exclusively by Tigrayan elites since 1991. This heyday came after the Tigrayans had lost their power to their neighbor-the Amhara twice. While the first was on the eve of the end of the Zemen Mesafinint (the era of princes), the second was in 1889 when emperor Yohannis IV fell at the battle of Metemma. Fear of losing power haunted them for decades as they regarded Amhara as their enduring power rival. The study employed a qualitative research approach by which the data was collected from articles, books, online video records, reports and interviews. The study revealed that Tigrayans had designed several strategies to ensure that no other power could challenge their positions that they assumed after a heavy bloody civil war. The article argues that the ultimate objective of Tigrayans was to control the upper political and economic echelon and make Tigray a core nation within the Ethiopian polity. However, the power rivalry and fear of losing power once again has remained lingering problems which even expanded its dimension and entered into a new phase after the Oromo has seized the core political position since the 2018 political reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2251290
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences

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