Abiy and Lemma’s neo-unionism is an attempt to find Ethiopia’s third way. But for how long can they keep patriotic unionists and ethno-nationalists happy? In February, an Ethiopian Prime Minister, for the first time, resigned, throwing into confusion a coalition that had ruled the country with an iron fist for more than two decades. This signaled the beginning of the end of authoritarianism and a political system dominated by the TPLF, the pioneers of ethno-nationalism.Now, Ethiopian politics is trying to strike a balance in the raging struggle between ethno-nationalists and patriotic unionists. At the center of this ideological war is the issue of self-determination, a process that can involve conflict, as seen in the long struggles by Eritrean and Tigrayan insurgents. The outcome for Eritreans, statehood, contravened the principles of national sovereignty and territorial integrity that are held dear by patriotic unionists. For ethno-nationalists, Ethiopia’s political woes are embedded in its historical development and successive regimes’ failure to address burning ethnic identity issues. For them, ethno-nationalism improves fragile security, builds trust, and protects rights. Unionists fear the implications of a constitution that legally recognizes the controversial principle of self-determination including secession. Ethiopia’s ongoing reform can be seen as an extension of the ideological debate over ethno-nationalism, with constituent parts of a ruling coalition holding increasingly divergent views. The emergence of quasi-unionists, whose agenda is based on love, unity and a multi-layered Ethiopian identity, a platform that is closer to that of the patriotic unionists, overturns the table on the ethno-nationalists, and complicates the current political equation. The division within the ruling party, however, offer opportunities for strategic alliances for both unionists and ethno-nationalists.