Two models for peace in Africa

One long-standing challenge for Africa has been a pattern of military conflict and misrule. Now two of its most consequential countries, Ethiopia and Sudan, are seeking to break that pattern with new models for stability – one after a war, the other after a coup. Both are implementing fragile agreements to restore peace.

Ethiopia is trying to forge a future of national unity that might break from a past of ethnic fragmentation. Sudan seeks to end a cycle of military rule. Their different approaches underscore lessons for how conflict-torn societies foster civic values that can bind people to shared identities.

For nearly 50 years, Ethiopia was overshadowed by the rise and dictatorial rule of a small ethnic minority known as the Tigrayans. That era came to an end in 2018 when Abiy Ahmed became prime minister. He personified the new national identity he hoped to promote. His father was Muslim, his mother Christian. They hailed from different ethnic groups. “Before we can harvest peace dividends,” Mr. Abiy said when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, “we must plant seeds of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the hearts and minds of our citizens.”

Previous ArticleNext Article