Some Common Features of Customary Conflict Resolution Mechanisms of Homicide in Ethiopian Societies: A Review

  • Wuletaw Wondmagegn Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Tarekgen Ayalew Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia


Homicide takes place when one human being causes the death of another. It can be broadly classified as lawful and unlawful homicide. These different types of homicides are often treated very differently in human societies. Unlawful homicide is considered as a crime. But, lawful homicide may be considered as justifiable and excusable. Sometimes lawful homicide is ordered by the legal system. Homicide is a crime which victimized not only the victim, but also the victim’s family and the general public. Its consequence further affects the slayer. The crime leads the killer to face lots of problems. For instance he may face problems like: - the insecurity of his family, a potential of revenge by the family of his victim, the social and economic crisis and hardship he may face in exile, the compensation he may pay, the social exclusion he may face and so on.  Homicide is a crime condemned by many societies all over the world. The consequence of homicide is long lasting if it is not resolved using proper mechanisms of conflict resolution. Hence, one of the imperative issues related to homicide is how to resolve a conflict that ends up in homicide to tackle the protracted consequences that follow in the aftermath of committing homicide. Different societies resolve conflicts using customary conflict resolution mechanisms and modern/court system. This review particularly focuses on some common features that are found in customary conflict resolution mechanisms to resolve a conflict that resulted in homicide among the Ethiopian societies.


1. Alula Pankhurst and, Getachew Assefa 2008. Facing the challenges of customary dispute resolution: Conclusions and recommendations. In: Pankhurst and Assefa eds. 2008a, pp. 257 273.
2. Besie, Bayisa and Lemessa Demie 2008. Customary dispute resolution in Beni-Shangul Gumuz with emphasis on Shinasha society. In: Pankhurst and Assefa eds. 2008a, pp.123–131.
3. Biruk,H and Jira, M (2008). Customary Dispute Resolution in Harar. In: Pankhurst and Assefa eds. 2008a p. 155-168
4. Brookman, F. (2005) Understanding Homicide. London: Sage
5. Daniel, M. (2016). Traditional disputes Resolution Institution among Mareko ethnic group
6. Southern Ethiopia. International Journal of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (IJAHSS) Volume 1 Issue 1 ǁ August 2016.
7. Dereje, F. (2008).Customary Dispute Resolution Institutions: The Case of the Nuer of the
8. Gambella Region In: Pankhurst and Assefa eds. 2008a p. 133-154
9. Dobrin A. (2016). Homicide Data Sources: An Interdisciplinary overview for Researchers. Springer Briefs in Criminology, ISSN 2192 - 8533.Classification Manual 2nd Edition San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
10. Endalkachew Birhan and Girma Bekele(2016). Challenges and Opportunities of Indigenous Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Oromia Regional State: The Case of Rayitu Woreda, Bale Zone. European Academic Research .Vol. IV, Issue 6/ September 2016.PP.5482-5499
11. Esayas, A. (2015). Indigenous Conflict Resolution Institutions: A Study among the Gofa People of the Demba Gofa District, SNNPR. Unpublished MA Thesis: Addis Ababa University.
12. Jazi M. E. & Hajidehabadi M. A. (2015). Evolution of the role of individual and social factors effective on homicide. International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies ISSN 2356 – 5926.
13. Karmen, A. (2010). Crime victims: An introduction to victimology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
14. Lawrence E. O. (2015), Nigeria and incidences of homicide. American international journal of social science, vol.4, No.5, university of Jos.
15. Mengistu, F(2018). Traditional Conflict Management and Resolution Mechanisms: The Case of Sheko People in Ethiopia. Unpublished Phd Dissertation: AAU.
16. Merriam-Webster,Inc (1996) Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law.
17. Shambel,T (2017). Indigenous Dispute Resolution Mechanisms at Haramaya Woreda of Eastern
18. Hararghe Zone, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. IJRDO-Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research .Volume-2. Issue-7.July,2017.
19. Solomon, B. (2014). Indigenous Democracy: Alternative Conflict Management Mechanisms
20. Among Tigray People, the Experiences of Erob, Community. Journal of Science & Development 2(2). 2014
21. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2013). Global Study on Homicide: Trends, Contexts, Data, Vienna.
22. Wallace A. (1986). Homicide: the social reality. New South Wales Bureau of crime statistics and research Attorney General Department.
23. Wolde, B. G. (2018). Traditional Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Kaffa Society of Ethiopia. Üniversitepark Bülten, 7(2), 128-142.
24. Wondwosen, T. (2015). Documentation and Description of Traditional Conflict Resolution
25. Sebat Bet Gurage:The Case of Chaha Gurage. Unpublished MA thesis in Documentary Linguistics and Culture: AAU.
26. Yewubneh, Y. (2016). Indigenous Conflict Resolution Mechanisms among the Oyda People of Southern Ethiopia: An Exploratory Study. Unpublished MA thesis in Arts in Social Anthropology: AAU.
27. Yimer, A.M. (2018). Assessing the Role of Elders in Preserving Peace and Security: A Case Study in South Wollo, Ethiopia. Advances in Applied Psychology Vol. 3, No. 2, 2018, pp. 29-33
28. Zelalem, M. and Endalcachew,B. (2014).Traditional Conflict Resolution Mechanisms among
29. Ambo Woreda Communities. International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-11 December 2014
How to Cite
WONDMAGEGN, Wuletaw; AYALEW, Tarekgen. Some Common Features of Customary Conflict Resolution Mechanisms of Homicide in Ethiopian Societies: A Review. International Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 3, p. 235-243, sep. 2019. ISSN 2521-0041. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 sep. 2019.