Efforts and Challenges of Integrating Peripheral Ethnic Groups into Ethiopia 1902-1974: The Case of Nuer/Naath

  • Shimels Ayele Yalew 1 Department of History and Heritage Management, Faculty of Social Science, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.


AbstractEthiopia is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups. Some of these groups live in the peripheries of the country. The Nuer in Gambella are among the ethnic groups who live in the periphery. However, integrating the Nuer with the rest of the Ethiopian society has not beenstudied in depth. Therefore, this study aimed to reconstruct the history of efforts and challenges of integrating the Nuer. It is historical research based on qualitative analysis of primary and secondary sources. The Nuer were integrated with other ethnic groups of Ethiopia through a gradual process. Trade preluded imperial agents as a means of interaction for the Nuer. The arrival of government functionaries, the demarcation of boundaries, the introduction of modern institutions and Christianity integrated the Nuer with the rest of the Ethiopian society. However,the integration endeavors lost momentum because of many reasons. Inhospitable climate, classless political tradition, language barrier, and early nominal administration posed problemsin the integration process of the Nuer.