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International Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on «Federalism as a peace-making instrument in the Horn of Africa », 2 December 2016

In Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Eva Maria Belser, Nicolas Schmitt and Mengistu Arefaine took part in a one-day international Symposium under the theme «Federalism as peace-making instrument in the Horn of Africa», organised by the Centre for Federal Studies (CFS) of Addis Ababa University (AAU), in collaboration with the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy (SARChI) of the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitution, Governance and Human Rights of the University of the Western Cape, the Institute of Federalism of Fribourg University, and the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism of Bozen (EURAC). It was the first time that four centers of competence in the field of power sharing from the South and the North joined forces to organise an event focusing on the perspectives of federalism in the fragile context of the Horn of Africa.

Prof. Belser presented a paper entitled «Federalising as a peace-making instrument – The failed Experience of Irak». Dr. Schmitt's presentation was entitled «Federalism in Somalia – Mission: Impossible ?» and Dr. Arefaine's paper was on «Federalism for South Sudan: A choice of sustainable peace or sustained violence.» The titles of these papers suggest some pessimism on the prospect of federalism in the Horn of Africa. The Symposium and the discussion of various cases studies however showed that it is crucial to further explore different federal practices and experiences and to reflect on power sharing as a mechanism to address diversity-related challenges and conflicts in the Horn of Africa. Hence the importance of such an international Symposium which was attended by a great number of intellectuals and policy-makers and widely covered by the media. After the Symposium, the directors of the four centers attended a doctoral colloquium which allowed doctoral students of the Centre of Federal Studies of Addis Ababa to present their research projects and to receive feedbacks on their writing.