Global Advanced Research Journal of Social Science
June 2012 Vol. 1(1), pp. 001-008
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals
Rural unrest and resistance in Ethiopia: The experience of Wello and Shewa provinces. A comparative analysis
Bahir Dar university, department of history
Accepted 09 May, 2012
In the early years of the Ethiopian revolution, peasant opposition was a countrywide phenomenon. A typical example was the case of Welo and Shewa which alarmed the Därg. Led by local notables, peasants put up an armed resistance in support of the deposed monarch. The prevalence of confusion and uncertainty within the local government in the provinces also contributed to agrarian unrest and revolt in Welo and Shewa. However, the initial attempts of the local gentry to stage counter- revolutionary uprisings in Welo and Shewa did not inspire enthusiasm for long. The momentum of peasant defiance soon started to evaporate within a short period of time. The opposition that lacked coordination and determination was, therefore, quickly put down. The new regime took immediate and cruel measures against them and thereby brought the situation under control. This was followed by a series of mopping –up operations by the security forces. This study highlights several points of paramount importance. It will try to investigate the factors that made the peasants of Welo and Shewa revolt against the new regime, the Därg. In this regard, attempts will be made to bring out the historical, political, and social origins of rural defiance in the region. Moreover, in this paper an attempt will be made to assess the degree of organization and intensity of the resistance. The study, therefore, will try to fill in some gaps in the study of peasant rebellions in the province under consideration.
Keywords: Rural unrest, Welo and Shewa, peasants, resistance