Our guest researchers Published on 16.11.2022

Presentation of the guest researchers of the IFF: Sisay Mengistie Addisu

What is your research about?

In the present world order, the scope of promotion and protection of minorities in general, and the rights of ethnic minority groups in particular, was largely limited to asserting the right to equality and prohibition of discrimination. Because of this, the international human rights instruments are not as such inclusive of minority rights in general, and promotion and protection of ethnic minority groups in particular. Although Ethiopia is a country with more than 80 ethnic groups having their own distinct languages, cultures, ways of life, psychological makeup as well as identity markers, until 1991 it was not as such ready to protect and allow the right to self-rule to ethnic groups.

Due to this reason, almost all ethnic groups of the country have gone through a protracted war to end the centrist and repressive regimes that failed to address fundamental question of ethnic groups. Then after the down fall of the PDRE government in May 1991, the EPRDF led transitional government was established and the FDRE constitution of 1995 had been adopted. Considering this politico-legal situation of the country, my research tries to answer the following research questions:

How does the legal framework of the federal government of Ethiopia address the rights of ethnic minorities? And in this regard, what legal and practical experiences can Ethiopia get from the developed Swiss federation? To answer these interrelated research questions, the legal and practical responses to the rights of ethnic minorities in relation to the fundamental rights of equitable representation and self-government will be seriously examined and critically analysed.

What is your background?

I have graduated with a Bachelor Degree of Laws in 2004 from the Ethiopian Civil Service College. Then, I received my Master’s Degree in Human Rights Law in 2010 and my PhD in Human Rights in 2018, both from Addis Ababa University. Besides, I received another MA Degree in Federalism and Local Government Studies in 2010 from the Ethiopian Civil Service College. From 24 May 2012 to 9 October 2014, I was Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, College of Law and Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University. In 2015, I was also a guest researcher at the Institute of Federalism and regionalism of European Research Academy (Eurac) located in Bolzano, Italy and in May 2017 at the University of Graz, Austria.

Thank you, Sisay, for this interview. The IFF is more than happy to welcome you on board, and we are very much looking forward reading more about your research.