This article explores and examines the citizenship and human rights architecture under the Ethiopian Constitution. As Ethiopia is imagined as a community of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (NNPs), membership to NNPs is an essential component of being Ethiopian. Further, as Ethiopia is primarily constituted to advance and safeguard the interests and rights of NNPs, the enforcement of individual human rights is contingent upon their service to NNPs. The citizenship and human rights architecture engineered by the Ethiopian Constitution makes ethnicity the main site of citizenship. As a result, ethnicity has become the primary means and ultimate end of political organization and contestation in contemporary Ethiopia. For this constitutional design to work, this article suggests, the constitutional and political actors either have to find a narrative that goes beyond the normative universe of the Constitution or rethink the foundations and assumptions of the citizenship and human rights architecture.
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