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Tsegay, Bereket (2022) Re-displacing the Displaced: Rethinking the Dual Strategy of Large scale Resettlement and Peaceful Coexistence in Metekel, Ethiopia. London: Researching Internal Displacement, Working Paper No. 17.

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Ethiopia has experienced a massive rise in internal displacement recently, primarily due to inter-ethnic conflicts, protests and unrest, as well as climate change and the failure of the state to adequately respond to these challenges. Owing to these various factors, Ethiopia is among the countries that account for one of the largest population of internally displaced persons worldwide. Given this unprecedented forced displacement, this study re-examines the case of Metekel zone in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of northwestern Ethiopia, a large-scale and state-led resettlement site for internally displaced persons set up in the 1980s where displaced people have consistently witnessed multiple waves of displacement. The policymakers put forward a dual strategy for a large-scale resettlement, by utilising the abundant ‘untapped’ natural resources in Metekel while easing land pressure and reducing the severity of drought and famine in the places of origin of internally displaced persons. People from diverse ethnic backgrounds have been resettled in Metekel. However, besides the immediate resistance of indigenous peoples to the establishment of the sites, Metekel’s hidden negative externalities have also gradually surfaced, manifesting through simmering ethnic tensions, resistance, violence and conflict between the hosts and the resettlers. This led to ethnically targeted massacres and the eventual re-displacement of thousands of people– about 30 per cent of the Metekel’s entire population – between 2018 and 2021. By investigating the complex dynamics of conflict and the re-displacement of the resettlers in Metekel, this study underscores the need for a deeper understanding of humanitarian protection, forced internal displacement, as well as peace and security dynamics, in order to mitigate existing and potential future challenges in Ethiopia

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: Ethiopia; IDPs; Insecurity; Metekel; (re)-Displacement; Resettlement
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 17:15
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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