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In Ethiopia, elders dissolve a crisis the traditional way

by Pat Coate | August 18, 2007
"In our tradition, there is forgiveness and elders mediate -- and we do not believe in grudge and vengeance."
- Prof. Ephraim Isaac, peacemaker

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - As the gray-haired man of letters strode into the posh restaurant in Ethiopia's capital recently, wearing his signature long, white yemiyakora tunic and black and white cap, patrons stood up and applauded.

He led a nonpartisan Ethiopian "council of elders" that quickly negotiated a deal acceptable to both sides: clemency in exchange for an admission of guilt and promise to respect the rule of law.

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